Spanish ministry denies arrest of top ETA leader

21st February 2009, Comments 0 comments

Spain's Interior Ministry on Saturday denied a report by national radio that a top leader of the Basque separatist organisation ETA had been arrested near the southwest French city of Bordeaux.

MADRID - Spanish national radio quoting anti-terrorist sources reported earlier that Iurgi Meninueta Mintegi, known as "Aitor," was detained north of the city in a joint overnight operation by French and Spanish police.

Mintegi, one of the most wanted ETA members, is believed to be the new leader in charge of its commandos and took over the military wing of the outlawed organisation at the end of last year.

"There was no arrest last night," a ministry spokesman told AFP.

ETA has been blamed for the deaths of 825 people in a four-decade campaign for an independent Basque homeland straddling northern Spain and part of southwestern France.

AFP / Expatica

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