French anti-terrorist officers working in cooperation with Spanish security services have arrested three alleged members of the Basque separatist group ETA in a French Alpine resort, according to an official with knowledge of the investigation.
AFP - French anti-terrorist officers arrested three armed alleged members of the Basque separatist group ETA in the French Alps on Wednesday, an official connected to the investigation told AFP.
The three men were seized in the skiing resort of Le Corbier Villarambert in Savoie and found to be carrying handguns and false papers, he told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The arrest operation was carried out by French police after several months of investigation in cooperation with the Spanish security service, he said. There was no immediate official comment from Paris or Madrid.
According to the Spanish news agency Vasco Press, one of those arrested is thought to be Aitzol Etxaburu, an alleged leading member of ETA's military wing and one of Spain's most wanted men.
The second, according to the report, is thought to be Alberto Machain, one of six alleged ETA militants whose photo was published by the Spanish interior ministry on July 31 following a bomb attack in Palma.
The third is reportedly Andoni Sarasola.
Founded half a century ago, ETA is blamed for the deaths of 828 people in its violent campaign for an independent Basque homeland in part of northern Spain and southwest France.
It figures on several terrorist blacklists, including those of the European Union and the United States.
Date created : 2009-08-19