French police arrest 10 Basque separatists
Members of Batasuna and Askatasuna were arrested in the Basque region of southern France, where both parties are still legal.
24 September 2008
MADRID / PARIS -- French police arrested at least 10 people linked to two Basque separatist groups, including Batasuna, considered the political wing of the militant Basque separatist group ETA, French radio reported Wednesday.
The arrests were made overnight in several cities in the Basque region of southern France. The detainees reportedly include Batasuna spokesmen Xabi Larralde and Jean-Claude Aguerre.
According to witnesses, police have blocked off a neighbourhood in the city of Bayonne and were searching the Batasuna headquarters there.
Batasuna was outlawed in Spain in 2003, and its successors, the Basque Nationalist Action (ANV) and Communist Party of Basque Lands (PCTV), were also banned last week. But the party is legal in France.
Other people arrested were members of Askatasuna, a militant group supporting the rights of Basque prisoners.
They were suspected of causing street violence in France.
Spanish Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba and her French counterpart Michele Alliot-Marie were to meet in Toulon on Wednesday to coordinate anti-terrorist policies.
By Kosmo83 (Flickr.com)
[dpa / Expatica]