Another ETA arms cache found in France

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Police have uncovered 12 arms caches in the past week, and Spanish Interior Minister promises to find them all and put an end to ETA operations.

Madrid – Police found another underground ETA explosives cache on Wednesday in France, taking to 13 the number uncovered over the past week in a crackdown on the Basque separatist group's French operations, the Spanish government said.

The cache found near the village of Massaguel in southern France held 18 kilos (40 pounds) of explosives, eight guns and 6,860 bullets as well as other items used to make bombs, the interior ministry said in a statement.

Police have uncovered 12 other arms caches across southern France in the past week, holding some 800 kilos (1,760 pounds) of explosive substances, 15 ready-to-use limpet bombs, an automatic rifle, 18 pistols and thousands of rounds of ammunition, 244 detonators and stolen car number plates.

The weapons dumps -- all of them underground, mostly in secluded rural areas -- were traced after three ETA suspects were detained on August 19 in an Alpine ski flat in possession of four stolen guns and 40 bomb detonators.

The discovery of the latest cache came as the French and Spanish interior ministers met in Paris to discuss cross-border police cooperation.

"The determination of France and Spain against ETA is total. ETA can change its methods, hide, find new hoards, go south or north but we can guarantee you that we will find them, and will put an end to their operations," Spanish Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalca told reporters in Paris.

ETA is blamed for the deaths of 828 people in its decades-long campaign for an independent Basque homeland in parts of northern Spain and southwestern France.

The group has tended to concentrate its attacks on Spanish targets while its militants use France as a rear base to hide out and rearm. In recent years French officials have arrested several senior suspects.

It figures on several terrorist blacklists, including those of the European Union and the United States.

AFP / Expatica

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