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Violence on the Costa continues with two targeted explosions in one night as part of suspected score-settling

Police at the scene of the fire in San Pedro.
Police at the scene of the fire in San Pedro. / Josele-Lanza
  • A luxury villa in Benahavís and a car wash in San Pedro, both belonging to a Moroccan businessman, were targeted over "an unpaid debt"

Investigations are ongoing into two attacks using explosive devices which took place in the early hours of last Wednesday morning, the latest in a string of incidents on the Costa del Sol thought to be part of revenge attacks between rival criminal gangs. Though no one was injured in either incident, significant damage was caused to property, SUR can confirm.

The two places targeted were a villa on a luxury development in Benahavís and a car wash in a unit on an industrial estate in San Pedro Alcántara. Both properties, owned by the same Moroccan businessman, were seriously damaged, and adjoining properties were also affected.

The National Police said in a statement on Wednesday that an investigation was under way and that a case of settling of scores had not been ruled out.

The first incident took place in Mirador de la Alquería in Benahavís, a quiet area close to a golf course where most residents are foreigners, just after midnight on Tuesday night. A car and the front of a villa caught fire in an explosion which produced no human casualties but, according to sources, led to the death of one dog and injured another.

The targeted villa, located in a cul-de-sac, had its front wall completely destroyed, with the railing on the perimeter wall also blasted off. The wall of the adjoining building was also damaged. A vehicle parked outside was completely engulfed in flames and is now unrecognisable.

The second attack took place just minutes after the first, at around 00.30am on Wednesday, when a similar explosive device detonated outside the entrance to the car wash on an industrial estate in San Pedro. The owner of both this warehouse and the Benahavís villa is a Moroccan businessman, with Spanish nationality, who apparently has a criminal record.

The consequences of the second explosion were a lot more serious. The industrial unit suffered serious structural damage, while a further five premises, as well as a dozen vehicles were damaged by flames.

This attack was just 20 metres from a gym that was set on fire several months ago, just weeks before its owner, known as "El Maradona", was shot dead. Police, however, say that there is no link between the two cases. Last week's attacks, police believe, were most likely a warning over an unpaid debt.

Burnt-out car

Moments after the second explosion, the car supposedly used in both attacks, a high-range BMW, was found burnt-out in the Nagüeles area of Marbella.

Both the Guardia Civil and the National Police have taken charge of the investigation as the first crime fell under the jurisdiction of the former and the second the latter.