Suspected ETA arms stashes found in France

18th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

BORDEAUX, France, Oct 18 (AFP) - French investigators following up the arrests of alleged activists from the underground Spanish Basque group ETA found two major arms caches in south western France at the weekend, authorities said Monday.

BORDEAUX, France, Oct 18 (AFP) - French investigators following up the arrests of alleged activists from the underground Spanish Basque group ETA found two major arms caches in south western France at the weekend, authorities said Monday.

They said the weapons discovered late Sunday at Saint-Pierre d'Irrube and Urrugne included dynamite, rocket launchers, guns, assault weapons, large quantities of ammunition and fake documents.

The haul was hailed by French Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin.

"We are delighted. It shows the degree to which Franco-Spanish cooperation is particularly effective," he told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting in Italy of interior ministers from five of the European Union's largest states.

Early Monday morning de Villepin had personally informed his Spanish counterpart, Jose Antonio Alonso, about the seizures, the fifth and sixth since a swoop earlier this month that resulted in the arrest of suspected top ETA leaders.

The French foreign minister said the new discoveries were very important, given the "very large quantities of arms and munitions" siezed.

The discovery follows the arrest in France on October 3 of Mikel "Antza" Albizu Iriarte, ETA's presumed political leader and chief theoretician, and his girlfriend and suspected former ETA military leader Soledad "Antobo" Iparragirre Genetxea.

The two as well as nine other suspected ETA members have been indicted by a Paris judge.

Among the cache of weapons discovered at Saint-Pierre d'Irrube were 25 kilograms of dynamite, an anti-tank rocket launcher, 61 pistols, 20 assault rifles, ammunition and detonators, as well as documents on using the equipment and false papers.

In Urrugne police unearthed assault rifles, armour-piercing rockets, Uzi machine pistols and mortars.

© AFP

 

 

Subject: French News

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