Sabato 05 Novembre 2016 - 16:45

French police detain chief of separatist group Eta

The leader of the Basque separatist is Mikel Irastorza

French police detain chief of separatist group Eta

French police arrested Mikel Irastorza, the leader of the Basque separatist group ETA, in the town of Ascain in the south of France, the Spanish Interior Ministry confirmed on Saturday.   Irastorza is the seventh ETA leader being arrested since the band announced a definitive ceasefire in November 2011. A 59-year-old Spanish man and a 56-year-old French woman, whose name are yet to be announced, were also arrested during Saturday's operation.   The detentions took place at around 6 a.m. local time in what was a joint operation between the French police and Spanish Civil Guards.   The trio were taken to a police station in nearby Bayonne and were expected to appear in court in the coming hours.   Irastorza was considered to be the most important member of the ETA, whose 40-year armed campaign for the independence of the Basque Region in the north of Spain claimed over 820 lives.   He is thought to have assumed leadership of the band following the arrest of David Pla and Iratxe Sorzabal in September 2015. His arrest comes after the discovery of an arms cache in the north of France in October. 

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  • LaPresse/Xinhua
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