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Police swoop on ETA suspects

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Police swoop on ETA suspects

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A man said by Spanish security sources to be the head of Basque separatist group ETA’s military wing has been arrested by French police.

Jurdan Martitegi was allegedly carrying a pistol and using a car with stolen registration plates when he was detained in southern France with two other men. The French Interior Ministry confirmed the men were arrested in Montauriol, near Perpignan, in the eastern Pyranees region, close to the Spanish border. Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said: “The terrorists know that the democracy and especially the state security forces – doing their impeccable duty – are going to finish the violence in the Basque Country and in the rest of Spain.” Martitegi, nicknamed “The Giant”, went on the run last July when Spanish police broke up ETA’s main attack unit known as the Vizcaya cell. It is believed to have been responsible for a series of bombings on police stations and government buildings. In a separate operation, six other suspected ETA members were detained in Spain’s Basque country.