34 suspected Basque separatists arrested

Oct. 8, 2003 at 4:12 PM
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NAVARRO, Spain, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- French and Spanish police have arrested 34 suspected Basque separatists in what officials call one of the "most important" operations carried out against ETA.

Twenty-nine suspects were arrested in Spain in Basque country and Navarra. The rest were arrested in Bayonne and Bordeaux in France, the BBC reported.

Spanish Interior Minister Angel Acebes said the 34 are suspected of providing support for the militant nationalist group, recruiting new members, organizing operations and gathering information.

ETA has been seeking an independent Basque state for 35 years, taking more than 840 lives in the process. In July, the group set off bombs at the Spanish resorts of Alicante and Benidorm, injuring 13 people.

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