Arms found in France linked to GRAPO

12th May 2009, Comments 0 comments

Police officers from France and Spain found two weapon caches near Paris while conducting a search for a missing body.

MADRID – French and Spanish police have discovered two weapons caches near Paris they suspect belong to a shadowy left-wing Spanish group, the government in Madrid said Monday.

The weapons were found in a forest near the town of Maisse south of the French capital, Spain's interior ministry said.

One cache contained four pistols, two revolvers, ammunition and 20 detonators, while the second held 8.1 kilogrammes (18 pounds) of bomb-making materials.

Police suspect they belong to the First of October Anti-Fascist Resistance Groups (GRAPO).

The Marxist organisation, set up in 1975, weeks after the death of Spain's right-wing dictator Francisco Franco, was accused of some 1,000 acts of violence between 1975 and 2003, including 80 killings and attempted murders and 339 bombings and attempted bombings.

But it was believed to have collapsed after the arrest in 2000 of its leader, Fernando Silva Sande.

Spanish media said police discovered the weapons caches during a search for the body of Spanish industrialist Publio Cordon, who was kidnapped by GRAPO in 1995.

Silva Sande told Spanish police in November that Cordon died accidently in France shortly after he was kidnapped.

He had previously insisted that Cordon was released after the payment of a ransom of 400 million pesetas (EUR 2.4 million), but the industrialist was never found.

AFP / Expatica

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