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Six 'ETA separatists' arrested in France

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Six 'ETA separatists' arrested in France
French police arrested six members of Basque separist group ETA on Tuesday. Photo: AFP
10:00 CEST+02:00
Despite Basque separist group ETA officially having ended its armed campaign French authorities continue to hunt down its members. On Tuesday six suspected members of the organisation were arrested in raids across France.

France said on Tuesday it had arrested six members of ETA, as authorities continue to hunt down those who belong to the Basque separatist group over a year after it ended all armed activity.

The arrests come after a suspected top commander of ETA - considered a terrorist group by the European Union and United States - got a life sentence in April for the 2007 murder of two Spanish police officers in France.

According to an interior ministry statement, the six were arrested in different parts of France on Tuesday morning, and five of them were already on wanted lists.

"Despite positive developments on this issue in the Spanish Basque Country, our national territory is still a base for the logistical and military withdrawal of clandestine structures of the organisation," the ministry said.

The six were arrested in Blois, a city in central France, and Brive-la-Gaillarde and Montpellier, in the southwest of the country.

ETA is blamed for 829 deaths in a four-decade campaign of bombings and shootings for independence for the Basque Country of northern Spain and southwestern France.

The organisation announced in October 2011 that it was giving up its armed struggle.

But it has yet to formally disarm and the Spanish government has refused to hold talks with its leaders.

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