1990 Sabadell attack

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1990 Sabadell attack
Part of the Basque conflict
Memorial en recuerdo a las víctimas del terrorismo en Sabadell.JPG
Memorial plaque for the victims of the attack
Location Sabadell, Spain
Date 8 December 1990
1645 (UTC+1)
Target Police convoy
Attack type
car bomb
Deaths 6
Non-fatal injuries
Perpetrators ETA

The Sabadell attack was a car bombing carried out by the armed Basque separatist group ETA in Sabadell, Catalonia, Spain on 8 December 1990.

The target was a convoy carrying eight members of the National Police force on the way to police a football game between Sabadell and Málaga CF.[1] Six of the police officers were killed, with the other two injured. Several civilians were also injured in the attack, which was ETA's deadliest of 1990.[2]


In the early 1990s, ETA had stepped up its attacks in Catalonia in an attempt to gain worldwide publicity and secure political concessions by threatening disruption to the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.[3][4] Police had obtained documents revealing these plans in the week before the attack.[5]

Two weeks earlier, on 23 November, ETA had attacked the Guardia Civil barracks in Sant Carles de la Ràpita in Catalonia,[6] though no one had been injured.

The attack[edit]

At approximately 1345 on the day of the attack, ETA placed the car bomb on the junction of Josep Aparici and Ribot i Serra streets, where vehicles would normally have to slow down to pass.[7] The car bomb, located some 500 metres from the main police station, was detonated remotely from the nearby Gran Via,[7] the main thoroughfare in the town, from which there was easy access to the A7 motorway, allowing the perpetrators to escape. The bomb caused a large explosion, mostly destroying the second of the two vehicles of the police convoy and caused extensive damage to nearby buildings, with shrapnel found up to 400 metres away.[5] Five of the eight police officers in that vehicle were killed instantly, with a sixth dying shortly afterwards. The other two policemen were seriously injured. A further eight passersby also sustained injuries in the attack.[5]


Police sources attributed the attack to ETA's Barcelona Commando Unit. They immediately identified Joan Carles Monteagudo and Juan Félix Erezuma, the two suspected leaders of the cell, as participants in the attack.[5] On 30 May 1991, the day after a bomb attack in Vic had killed nine people, Monteagudo and Erezuma were killed in a gunfight with police in Lliçà d'Amunt, near Barcelona.[8]


  1. ^ Sabadell recuerda a los seis policías que murieron en un atentado terrorista en 1990, El Pais, 9 December 2005
  2. ^ Listado de asesinados por ETA facilitado por la Fundación Víctimas del Terrorismo Archived May 12, 2012, at the Wayback Machine., El Pais, accessed 3 March 2013
  3. ^ Securing and Sustaining the Olympic City, Pete Fussey, Ashgate Publishing, 2011, p48
  4. ^ Historical Dictionary of Modern Olympic Movement, John E. Findling & Kimberly D. Pelle, Greenwood Publishing Group, 1996, p189
  5. ^ a b c d Seis policías muertos y varios heridos en Sabadell en un atentado de ETA con coche bomba, El Pais, 9 December 1990
  6. ^ La Vanguardia, 24 November 1990, p1
  7. ^ a b La Vanguardia, 9 December 1990, p15
  8. ^ Los dos jefes del 'comando Barcelona' mueren en un tiroteo un día después del atentado de Vic, El Pais, 31 May 1991