Spanish police free ETA suspect held in explosives seizure

2nd October 2010, Comments 0 comments

Spanish police on Saturday released one of three suspected ETA members arrested in an operation in the Basque Country in which they also seized 100 kilogrammes of explosives, Spanish media said.

The three were detained on Wednesday in the Basque town of Villabona and were believed to be part of an ETA commando cell that was hitherto unknown to the police, the interior ministry had said following the arrests.

A police search of a garage used by the suspects turned up 101 kilos (223 pounds) of explosives, eight detonators, 10 timers, a gun as well as various equipment used to make bombs and a stolen car.

On Friday, they found more explosives linked to the arrests, in a garage in the Basque city of San Sebastian.

But the Civil Guard police force on Saturday freed one of the three, Jesus Maria Besance Zugasti, due to lack of evidence against him, Spanish media said, quoting anti-terrorist sources.

ETA is blamed for 829 deaths in its 42-year campaign for independence for the Basque region of northern Spain and southwestern France.

The Spanish government has vowed to eradicate ETA unless it unilaterally and unconditionally renounces violence and disarms.

It has rejected a series of ETA statements in past weeks offering a ceasefire in the right conditions.

© 2010 AFP

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