Body of ETA victim sent home for funeral

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Minister says evidence links two detained suspects to double killing in France.

7 December 2007

MADRID - The body of Fernando Trapero, a Civil Guard officer shot by Basque terrorist group ETA in France on Saturday, was flown back to Spain on Thursday, a day after he died in hospital following a four-day coma.

A state funeral is due to be held in Madrid today for the 23-year-old Civil Guard, whose partner, 24-year-old Raúl Centeno, died instantly in the attack carried out by three ETA members in the southwestern French town of Capbreton.

Two of the alleged killers were arrested by French police on Wednesday morning, while the third suspect is still at large. Spanish Interior Minister Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba confirmed yesterday that there is solid evidence linking the two suspects to the killings.

"There is proof of a biological nature," Rubalcaba said. He also noted that the suspects had been preparing to commit attacks in Spain when they apparently chanced upon the two undercover Civil Guard officers in a Capbreton café on Saturday morning. After checking their car to confirm they were police, the ETA members shot them at point blank range before fleeing the scene. The two arrested suspects were detained in Châteauneuf-de-Randon after travelling more than 1,000 kilometres across country.

Investigators have confirmed their identities as Asier Bengoa, an ETA member who spent three years in pre-trial custody in Spain until November 2006, and Saioa Sánchez, default leader of ETA's infamous Vizcaya cell and one of the most-sought terrorists in Spain. Preliminary reports following the arrests had erroneously identified the female suspect as Amaia Alonso.

[Copyright EL PAÍS, SL./ Ángeles Espinosa 2007]

Subject: Spanish news

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