Spaniards detained in restaurant bombing

24th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

24 September 2007 , PARIS - French police detained 13 suspects early Monday in the Basque region for the June 2006 bomb attack of a luxury hotel run by star chef Alain Ducasse, the Paris prosecutor's office said.

24 September 2007

PARIS - French police detained 13 suspects early Monday in the Basque region for the June 2006 bomb attack of a luxury hotel run by star chef Alain Ducasse, the Paris prosecutor's office said.

Some 200 gendarmes took part in the dawn raid on several areas in the Pyrenees region of southwest France, detaining the 13 French and Spanish nationals.

One of the six Spaniards arrested is Urtzi Garcia Montero, who is "directly linked" to a commando from the Basque separatist group ETA called "Donosti" which was dismantled in March, Spanish Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said in Madrid.

Another is a convicted ETA youth wing leader, while the remaining four Spaniards are linked to urban violence in the Spanish Basque Country, he added.

It is the first time that an ETA member has been arrested in connection to an attack carried out in France, which the separatist group traditionally uses as a rear base for its activities.

ETA has avoided staging attacks in France, at least officially.

Two makeshift devices exploded on 11 June 2006, causing damage at the Ostape Hotel owned by the celebrity chef while a third bomb found nearby was de-activated.

Ducasse decided in February to shut down the hotel, a move applauded by the Basque pro-independence party Batasuna which issued a statement denouncing a "tourist venture that seeks to reduce the Basque country to folklore."

President Nicolas Sarkozy's government which took office in May has pledged its full cooperation with Spain in its fight against ETA militants, who want to create an independent Basque homeland that would encompass parts of Spain and France.

(Copyright AFP and EFE with Expatica)

Subject: Spanish news

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