Six held in Basque Country over fresh violence
17 October 2007, MADRID - (AFP) - Spanish police arrested six people suspected of acts of urban violence and of links to the armed Basque separatist group ETA, the interior ministry announced Wednesday.
17 October 2007
MADRID - (AFP) - Spanish police arrested six people suspected of acts of urban violence and of links to the armed Basque separatist group ETA, the interior ministry announced Wednesday.
The operation, ordered by Spain's anti-terrorist judge Baltasar Garzon, was launched during the night in the Basque Country and was still ongoing Wednesday morning, said a ministry statement.
The arrests come amid heightened tensions in Spain's northern Basque region after ETA called off a 15-month-old ceasefire in June and authorities arrested most of the leadership of ETA's political wing, Batasuna, on October 4.
Six people were detained in the towns of Getxo and Berango, near the city of Bilbao. They are suspected of carrying out "most of the acts of urban violence" committed in the region in recent years, the ministry said in a statement.
Authorities are also investigating their possible links to ETA. The names of some of those held are mentioned in documents seized from the suspected former leader of the organisation, Ibon Fernandez Iradi, who was arrested in France in 2003.
Minor acts of urban violence blamed on young Basque radicals occur frequently in the Basque Country. They often involve Molotov cocktails thrown at banks or the torching of rubbish bins.
The most recent act was late on Tuesday when a small home-made bomb exploded in front of the home of a local official in the northern province of Navarra, which borders the Basque Country.
The armed Basque separatist group ETA has killed 819 people during almost four decades of fighting for the independence of the Basque region, which it says includes parts of northern Spain and southwest France.
Subject: Spanish news