Huge ETA weapons cache discovered
4 April 2004, Bayonne, France - Police on Sunday discovered a huge weapons cache belonging to the Basque terrorist group ETA in southwestern France and arrested two suspected members of the organisation, officials said.
4 April 2004
Bayonne, France - Police on Sunday discovered a huge weapons cache belonging to the Basque terrorist group ETA in southwestern France and arrested two suspected members of the organisation, officials said.
One of the suspects has been identified as Zeberio Aierbe, who spent time in Latin America, sources close to the investigation told EFE.
The 38-year-old Aierbe, a Spanish citizen, was arrested in Costa Rica in 1996 when he entered from Nicaragua with false documents. He had lived in Mexico for several years.
Aierbe was convicted and sentenced to one year in prison in Costa Rica.
French authorities have sent his fingerprints to Spain to confirm his identity, officials said.
Spanish Interior Minister Angel Acebes said the cache could be "one of the biggest arsenals" belonging to ETA.
Police had been after Aierbe for some time, while the other suspect, Jean-Marie Sempee, owned the house where the weapons were found.
The raid took place in the town of Saint-Michel, near the Spanish border, two days after police arrested Iñaki Esparza Luri, head of ETA's logistics apparatus, Felix Alberto Lopez de Lacalle, also known as "Mobutu" and a former leader of the organization, and his girlfriend, Mercedes Chivite.
Documents seized after the arrest of Lopez de Lacalle led police to the weapons cache in Saint-Michel, officials said.
Police seized several weapons, including rocket and grenade launchers, and compared this raid to the 1992 operation that resulted in the arrest of ETA's leadership in the French Basque town of Bidart.
The village of Saint-Michel is located some 100 kilometres (62 miles) from Bagneres-de Bigorre, where police raided an apartment that ETA was using to make bombs.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news