Spain Detains Four ETA Suspects and Seizes Explosives


Spanish police arrested four suspected members of an ETA bombing cell in a night raid Tuesday and seized 180 kilograms of explosives, an anti-terrorist source and media said.

Police swooped against armed Basque separatist group ETA in the early hours in Vizcaya, northern Spain, and arrested the four, said an anti-terrorist source who spoke on condition of not being named.

Police arrested two men and two women in the raids, according to Basque news service Vasco Press and the online editions of daily newspapers “El Pais” and “El Mundo”.

The four had no previous criminal record but were suspected of being part of a cell that carried out repeated bombing attacks.

In one of those attacks in June 2009, an ETA limpet bomb instantly killed anti-terrorism police unit chief Eduardo Puelles when it exploded in his car at a car park by his home in Arrigorriaga, near Bilbao.

Police also found 180 kilograms of explosives in raids connected with the arrests, said Vasco Press.

ETA declared on January 10 a "permanent and general ceasefire" to be verified by the international community.

But Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero rejected the declaration, saying he wanted nothing less than ETA's dissolution, and the authorities have vowed to hunt down ETA members.

ETA had announced a ceasefire in March 2006 within the framework of negotiations with Madrid. But nine months later, it set off a bomb in the car park of Madrid's airport, killing two men.

Spanish authorities believe their campaign against ETA has crippled its operational capacity, with dozens of arrests made in cooperation with forces in other countries, particularly France.

ETA has not staged an attack on Spanish soil since August 2009.

The latest police raids were reportedly linked to the arrest in May 2010 in Bayonne in southwestern France of the suspected military leader of ETA, Spanish national Mikel Kabikoitz Karrera Sarobe, known as Ata.

During Sarobe's arrest police found documents linking the four detained on Tuesday to ETA, the newspapers said.

Comments 0