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Basque separatist suspects in custody

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Basque separatist suspects in custody


Four suspected members of the Basque separatist group ETA have been captured by police in two separate arrests.

Two suspects were seized in northern Portugal after one of them was stopped while driving a van loaded with explosives.

The vehicle was first stopped in the Spanish town of Bermillo de Sayago, where its French number plate aroused police suspicions. The van’s driver then fled the scene in a stolen patrol car, but was later arrested on the Portuguese side of the border.

A woman who’d earlier been driving an alleged getaway car behind the van was also taken into custody. Authorities believe the explosives were either being delivered or were about to be used in an attack using the van.

Meanwhile in France, two suspects were arrested on Saturday as they approached a weapons stash near the city of Clermont-Ferrand. They’re believed to be among the most wanted members of ETA.

For decades the organisation has waged a deadly campaign of bombings and shootings to try to carve out an independent Basque state in northern Spain and southern France.

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