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Madrid bomb misses target - police

MADRID, Spain (CNN) -- Authorities in Spain say a car bomb that exploded during morning rush hour in Madrid may have missed its intended target.

But metal fragments and fire from the explosion badly injured four people and destroyed cars on the street near the Spanish headquarters of computer giant IBM.

Up to 50 others were slightly injured in the blast, which took place after 9 a.m. local time (0800 GMT) on Tuesday. Police said those injured included employees of BBVA bank (Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria).

In-Depth: Basque conflict - violence in Spain 

Officers arrested two people carrying wigs, explosives and a pistol not far from the scene.

A senior science and technology ministry official seemed to have been the target but escaped with minor cuts after the bombers apparently misjudged the timing of his car, an Interior Ministry spokesman said.

Police and local officials blame the Basque separatist group ETA for the blast.

"If things had occurred differently we could be mourning the deaths of many innocent people, which demonstrates once again ... ETA's ... brutality, savageness and total lack of respect for people's lives," Interior Minister Mariano Rajoy said.

ETA has frequently carried out car-bomb attacks in its 33-year campaign for independence of the northern Basque region.

The group, which has killed about 800 people, was blamed for another car-bomb blast in Madrid on October 15, which injured 17 people.

The explosion comes after more than a dozen members of two ETA -linked groups were arrested last week.


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