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Spain arrests Batasuna leaders over illegal gathering

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Spain arrests Batasuna leaders over illegal gathering


Spanish authorities have rounded-up all leading members of the banned Basque political party, Batasuna, as part of their continuing crackdown. Around 20 senior figures have been arrested after allegedly holding an illegal meeting. The arrest order was issued by anti-terrorist judge Baltasar Garzon and comes after Spain’s Prime Minister ruled out any possibility of negotiations with militant Basque separatist group, ETA.

Batasuna was outlawed five years ago because of its links to the guerrilla group. The party’s meeting is said to have taken place last night in the Basque town of Segura. Those detained also include members of Ekin, a group suspected of being behind violent street protests. The arrests are the latest in a series of tough moves against ETA sympathisers.

There were clashes between police and radical militants in the Basque city of San Sebastian earlier this week when police took two leaders of Batasuna into custody.

They are accused of taking part in a mass anti-government demonstration in San Sebastian last month in which protestors called for an amnesty for jailed ETA fighters and independence for the Basque region.

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