On 8 August 1979 ETA machine-gunned a Civil Guard Land Rover that was driving along a road on its way to Sondica airport in Vizcaya. Officer Antonio Nieves Cañuelo was killed in the attack and another two civil guards, Juan Cortijo Durán and Benito Rodríguez Lara were gravely injured.
Antonio was driving the Civil Guard Land Rover in with the other two were passengers. They were on routine guard duty at the airport and had reached the end of the runway. Some 50 metres away, hidden behind a wall in the British Cemetery of Bilbao, two terrorists who had been waiting for them, opened fire on them with assault rifles. Antonio was hit, causing the vehicle to swerve and overturn, eventually going over a bank at the end of the runway, completely destroyed. The car came to rest upside down. The roof above Antonio was crushed and he was killed.