Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Is Carla Bruni against a political comeback for Sarkozy?

Read more

DEBATE

Clone of Pakistan Protests: Democracy put the test (Part Two)

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put the test (Part One)

Read more

ENCORE!

The French Maestro of Soul

Read more

FOCUS

US tobacco giants want lion's share of e-cigarette business

Read more

ENCORE!

Bold and bonkers: Kate Bush is back on stage

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Simon Serfaty, US foreign policy specialist

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'It's a War, Stupid!'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

French PM calls on ECB to go further to help economy

Read more

  • UN backs inquiry of IS group’s alleged crimes in Iraq

    Read more

  • French education ministry picture sparks racist abuse

    Read more

  • Video: Ukraine’s children return to school as fighting rages on

    Read more

  • US urges Israel to reverse West Bank land seizure

    Read more

  • Americans detained in North Korea call for US help

    Read more

  • Lesotho PM calls for regional peacekeeping force after ‘coup’

    Read more

  • Ukrainian forces retreat from Luhansk airport after clashes

    Read more

  • Teddy Riner, France’s unstoppable judo champion

    Read more

  • Death toll rises in Paris apartment building blast

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces free Amerli in biggest victory over IS militants since June

    Read more

  • French police arrest hungry hedgehog hunters

    Read more

  • Tripoli under control of militias, says government

    Read more

  • Monaco’s Falcao set for Man Utd loan on transfer deadline day

    Read more

  • Spain orders custody for parents of ill British boy

    Read more

  • Anti-government protesters storm Pakistan's state TV

    Read more

  • Web doc on French self-immolation protests takes top prize

    Read more

Europe

Senior ETA members arrested in remote village

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-03-11

French and Spanish police say they have arrested four suspected members of Basque separatist group ETA, including the organisation's alleged military chief, in a remote village in northern France.

AP – The suspected leader of the Basque separatist group ETA’s armed cells and three other alleged members of the organization were arrested in France, Spanish and French officials said Friday.

The arrests came in a joint raid Thursday night by French and Spanish police in Willencourt in northern France’s Pas-de-Calais region, officials said. Spain-based ETA members often hide out in France, which cooperates closely with Madrid in hunting down suspects.
 
ETA declared a cease-fire in September and went further in January by calling it permanent, raising hopes for an end to Europe’s last armed political militancy. But the Spanish government is insisting ETA dissolve outright and ruling out talks. It says it will not let up against ETA and continues to make arrests regularly.
 
One of the four nabbed Thursday night is Alejandro Zobaran Arriola, 29, who an Interior Ministry statement described as the head of ETA’s “military apparatus.” Another is the alleged logistics chief, Mikel Oroz Torrea, 31, the statement said.
 
Many ETA-watchers in Spain say the group is divided between a hard core that does not want to give up violence as a way to press for Basque independence and other members more willing to abandon the armed struggle and work peacefully toward that goal.
 
Government spokesman Ramon Jauregui dodged the question Friday when asked at a news conference if the new arrests including two key suspects meant the hardliners were now all in custody and that ETA might come out with a new, conciliatory communique.
 
He praised French-Spanish cooperation in the fight against ETA and said “these arrests weaken ETA even more and bring us closer to the end of the violence.”
 
ETA has been decimated by arrests in recent years and dwindling support at the grass roots levels.
 
Over the past two and half years, no fewer than five ETA leaders have been arrested. It was not immediately clear if the Spanish government considers Zobaran Arriola to have been the group’s overall chief or just very senior within the organization.
 
The group has killed more than 825 people since launching its campaign for an independent Basque homeland in northern Spain and southwest France in the late 1960s.

 

Date created : 2011-03-11

  • SPAIN

    Basque separatist party eyes comeback, rejects violence

    Read more

  • SPAIN

    ETA declares first-ever permanent ceasefire

    Read more

COMMENT(S)