Device explodes in Spain cathedral, no one hurt

Oct 02, 2013, 11:50 AM EDT
MADRID (AP) — A small device exploded inside a cathedral in northeastern Spain on Wednesday that is one of the country's most popular religious and tourist attractions, causing some damage but no injuries, an official said.
The blast occurred at about 1:50 a central aisle close to the main altar of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pilar in the city of Zaragoza, and people were evacuated, said a spokesman for the Interior Ministry's office there.
The explosion occurred just three days before the city's yearly Pilar festival, which attracts tens of thousands of people.
The official said no group has taken responsibility for the device, which police said was fashioned using a small camping gas canister. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of department rules preventing him from being identified.
The Pilar, located on the banks of the Ebro River, has long attracted many worshippers and tourists.
The church's origins date to the 12th century, but it was mostly built between the 17th and 19th centuries. It took its name from a stone pillar located inside, which some faithful believe was left there by the Virgin Mary. The pillar was not damaged by Wednesday's explosion.
Pope John Paul II visited the cathedral in 1984.
Spanish police in February defused a small explosive device left inside Madrid's Almudena Cathedral. An anarchist group took responsibility for leaving it there.