Alleged ETA members arrested near Paris

26th June 2009, Comments 0 comments

Two alleged senior members of the armed Basque separatist organisation ETA accused of gathering intelligence on future targets were arrested near Paris on Thursday, officials said.

Paris--Javier Arruabarrena Carlos, 37, and Ohiane Garmendia Marin, 32, were arrested at Charenton-le-pont, a southeastern suburb of Paris, and officers were carrying out a search of their home, a police source said.

The suspects -- a man and a woman -- were described as "two main members of ETA's intelligence wing," by Spanish Secretary of State for the Interior Antonio Camacho who praised the "effective collaboration" between the French and Spanish authorities which led to the arrests.

Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba told parliament the pair were responsible for gathering intelligence on future targets.

He said, however, that it was "unlikely" that they were involved in a car bomb which killed a police inspector last Friday in Spain's Basque region.

French investigators had seized computers during their search of the suspects' home, said Rubalcaba, adding that it had been a "good week" for security forces battling the organisation.

Three other alleged ETA members were on Monday taken in for questioning in the Basque region accused of possessing 75 kilos (165 pounds) of explosives.

ETA, considered a terrorist organisation by the European Union and the United States, is blamed for the deaths of 825 people in its 40-year campaign to carve a Basque homeland out of northern Spain and southwestern France.

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