French police arrest six suspected Basque ETA members | News | DW | 07.05.2013
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French police arrest six suspected Basque ETA members

The French Interior Ministry has announced the arrest of six suspected members of the Basque separatist group ETA. Police moved simultaneously in three locations to make the arrests.

The French ministry anounced on Tuesday that it had arrested six suspected members of ETA (three shown in picture), five of whom were already on a wanted-persons list. The statement said they were members of ETA's logistical organization.

"Despite the positive developments in this matter recorded in the Spanish Basque region, our national territory has never stopped being a logistical and military fallback base for the organization's clandestine structures," the Interior Ministry statement said, praising the "excellent Franco-Spanish cooperation" in policing and intelligence matters.

The Spanish Interior Ministry later said that three of the arrested suspects were Raul Aduna Vallinas, Antonio Goiocechea Gabirondo and Igor Uriarte Lopez de Vicuna (pictured above, left to right).

The Basque separatist group agreed to cease all armed activity a year ago, but it has not yet formally disarmed and the conservative Spanish government so far refuses to negotiate. ETA is blamed for more than 800 deaths in a four-decade campaign for an independent Basque country. Mostly situated in Spain, the Basque region also stretches into France.

Tuesday's early-morning arrests took place in three locations, noteworthy for their distance from the French Basque Country. The suspects were arrested in the central city of Blois, and Brive-la-Gaillarde and Montpellier in the southwest. The French AFP news agency reported that they would all be transferred to Paris by the end of the week.

msh/mz (AFP, AP, dpa)