Expatica news

ETA leader arrested in France

9 December 2003

PARIS – A suspected military leader of the Basque separatist group ETA was arrested in France Tuesday.

Gorka Palacios Alday was held in a dawn raid in the small village of Lons, near Pau in south-west France, police said.

French anti-terrorism officers also arrested three other suspected ETA members, and seized false identity papers and weapons during the raid.

Palacios, 29, was described as the terrorist group’s “number one” following the recapture last week of Ibon Fernandez Iradi, ETA’s suspected military chief.

ETA has killed more than 800 people in its campaign for a separate state since the late 1960s.

Fernandez Iradi, 32, was re-arrested on Thursday in the south-western French town of Mont-de-Marsan.

He had escaped custody in December 2002 by squeezing through the skylight window of a French police cell.

French investigators are preparing charges of terrorism links and attempted murder against him.

Palacios is wanted for a series of bombings in Spain and he also appears on a list of wanted “terrorists” drawn up by the United States and the European Union.

He has also been named as a suspect in the shooting of a Spanish colonel in October 2000.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news