A powerful car bomb exploded at Madrid's international airport on Saturday, leaving two people missing and injuring 26 in an attack blamed on the Basque separatist group ETA. The bombing ended a nine-month cease-fire and prompted the government to halt plans for negotiations with ETA.
"As the conditions that we laid down have not come about, I have ordered the suspension of all initiatives to develop a dialogue," Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said. "The government considers that today's attack is incompatible with a permanent cease-fire."
The attack early Saturday inside a multistory parking garage at Madrid's Barajas airport on one of the airports's busiest traveling days of the year was blamed on ETA.
"The condition for dialogue was and is the unequivocal desire to abandon violence," said Zapatero. "The very grave attack today by the terrorist band ETA is radically contrary to that desire." said Zapatero.
"ETA has taken a road that leads nowhere, that only provokes pain," said Zapatero, who cut short a family holiday to take charge of events, the AP says.
After a warning call from the armed group, a maroon-colored van exploded around 0800 GMT inside the garage adjoining the airport's new Terminal 4, sending a massive column of smoke into the air and collapsing part of the building, sending rubble crashing onto parked cars.
Two Ecuadorean men believed to have been sleeping inside a parked car were missing in the rubble and 26 were slightly injured, mostly with damage to their ears from the blast's shockwave.