Police detain two ETA suspects in France, Spain

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Two suspected ETA members were detained in a joint operation by French and Spanish police Tuesday, a day after the Basque separatist group declared a permanent cease-fire, sources close to the investigation said.

Police detained Iraitz Guesalaga, 27, a computer expert, in the southern French town of Ciboure while his girlfriend Itxaso Urteaga, 21, was picked up across the Spanish border in the beach town of Zarautz, the sources said.

Their arrests had been programmed before ETA's ceasefire announcment, one of the sources said.

Guesalaga is suspected of having been a part of ETA's logistics team and of providing computer training to members of the group, Spanish media reported.

"We commend police for this operation," the regional Basque government's interior minister, Rodolfo Ares, told Spanish public radio.

In a video message released Monday, ETA declared "a permanent and general ceasefire" but there was no promise to disband or disarm.

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has rejected the ceasefire declaration, saying he wants nothing less than ETA's dissolution.

The armed group's four-dacade-long campaign of bombings and shootings for a homeland independent of Spain has claimed the lives of 829 people.

© 2011 AFP

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