Spain seizes van with ETA explosives

10th January 2010, Comments 0 comments

Spanish police seized a van loaded with explosives believed to belong the Basque separatist group ETA, the daily El Mundo reported on Sunday.

Madrid - Spanish police seized a van loaded with explosives believed to belong the Basque separatist group ETA, the daily El Mundo reported on Sunday.

The van with French licence plates was stopped by police near the northwestern town of Zamora on Saturday for a routine check, but its driver overpowered the officers and fled with their patrol car, said the newspaper.

The driver, plus an accomplice travelling in another vehicle, were later detained in Portugal.

Their identities and nationalities were not immediately known, but were suspected of being ETA members, El Mundo reported.

It was also not immediately clear if the explosives were to be delivered or the van was intended to be used in a bomb attack, it added.

El Mundo and El Pais also reported that a man and woman suspected of being ETA members were arrested Saturday near the central French city of Clermont-Ferrand, in an operation in which Spanish police also participated.

Citing sources close to Spain's anti-terrorism police, the dailies said the two were arrested in a mountainous area where authorities suspected an ETA arms cache was located.

El Mundo said the two were among the two most sought after ETA fugitives, naming them as Inaki Iribarren Galbetep and Eider Uruburu Zabaleta.

ETA, considered a terrorist organisation by both the United States and the European Union, is blamed for 828 deaths in a 41-year campaign for independence in the Basque region of northern Spain and southwestern France.

AFP/Expatica

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