BASQUE terrorist group ETA has warned UK travel agents
not to send clients to Spanish resorts this summer because it “cannot guarantee
their safety”.

In a letter to British Embassy staff in Madrid, the
separatist organisation spelt out its intention to target resort areas this
year under its strategy to hit Spain’s £50 billion tourism industry.

In ETA’s most recent attack, a bomb destroyed a
restaurant in the northern town of Gatxo, near Bilbao, last Monday. No-one was
hurt.

ABTA revealed that a letter similar to the one
received by embassy staff had been sent to a UK travel agent about six months
ago and forwarded to the Foreign Office. It claimed tourist resorts would
remain a legitimate target for 2003.

ETA has repeatedly issued warnings against tourists
travelling to Spain and last summer conducted a bombing campaign in resorts on
the Costa Blanca and Costa del Sol. But it has always given clear warnings of
imminent explosions.

“It won’t discourage UK visitors to Spain and there is
nothing to be concerned about,” stressed an ABTA spokesman. “ETA wants people
to be sympathetic to its cause and so doesn’t want to hurt tourists.”