Top ETA suspect arrested by Spanish police

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Top ETA suspect arrested by Spanish police

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Spanish police are said to have struck a heavy blow against ETA with the arrest of one of the armed Basque separatist group’s alleged leaders and seven others.

They were detained by anti-terrorism police in early morning raids in the Bilbao area.

Spanish media say Arkaitz Goikoetxea was high on the most-wanted list and had been living in hiding.

Few details about the crackdown have been released but it is understood the others arrested were not known to the police.

Officers raided a number of premises and seized a range of items.

ETA has killed more than 800 people in almost 40 years in pursuit of their goal of an independent Basque state in northern Spain and southern France.

Today’s arrests come after an upsurge of bombings by the group.

In May a police officer was killed in a bomb attack on a barracks.

In recent days the group says it was behind a series of small blasts at tourist resorts in northern Spain. No one was seriously injured in those attacks.