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Two suspected ETA members arrested in pre-dawn raid

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-06-23

Spanish police have arrested two alleged members of the Basque separatist group ETA in a pre-dawn raid in the Basque town of Usurbil. The arrests come four days after a counter-terrorism chief was killed in an attack by suspected separatists.

AFP - Spanish police arrested two suspected members of the separatist ETA movement in the Basque country Tuesday, media reports said quoting anti-terror officials.

The pair was nabbed during a pre-dawn raid on a workshop in the town of Usurbil that had been turned into an apartment. Police cordoned off the area as they feared the suspects could make use of explosives.

The arrests came four days after the killing at Arrigorriaga, also in the Basque country, of the head of an anti-terror unit in an attack by suspected separatists.

Press reports said however that the arrests were not linked to this case but to a number of attacks against companies involved in the construction of a high-speed railway line in the region. ETA is opposed to the public works.

The two suspects were part of an ETA commando that was so far unknown to the police, sources said.

ETA, considered a terrorist organisation by the European Union and the United States, is blamed for the deaths of more than 800 people in its 40-year campaign to carve a Basque homeland out of northern Spain and southwestern France.

Date created : 2009-06-23