Nine arrests and discovery of a cache attributed to ETA in France

30 June

BAYONNE (France) – Nine people linked to Basque autonomist movement were arrested Monday morning in the French Basque country

Nine people linked to Basque autonomist movement were arrested Monday morning in French Basque country while a cache of materials for making explosives attributed to ETA was discovered Saturday in a forest in this region.

“Several arrests” involving French, especially of Spanish origin, were held in Bayonne (southwest) and the Basque coast Monday morning and searches are underway, confirmed police source in Bordeaux without details.

The Anti-Terrorism Sub-Directorate (SDAT), police of Bordeaux and Bayonne and gendarmes took part in this operation, said the same source.

Previously, the Committee for the Defence of Basque prisoners Askatasuna announced the arrest in several municipalities of the French Basque Country of nine people linked to the autonomy movement.

The committee Askatasuna, who denounced in a press release a new stalk in Ipar in Euskal Herria (Basque Country north), said that the homes of those arrested were being searched Monday morning but gave no other possible indication for the police operation.

According to Askatasuna, a tenth person, Xan Beyrer, was also arrested on June 27 at Cambo, also in the French Basque Country, and was still in custody at the gendarmerie in Pau (South-West) Monday morning.

In addition, an officer of the gendarmerie of Tarn (southwest) said that mushroom pickers discovered Saturday afternoon the first bag containing material that could be used to manufacture explosive devices, including the detonating cord, batteries and timers.

The bag, which was practically in the open air, was discovered in the heart of the forest of the Grésigne with difficult access, near Albi, south-west France.

Alarmed, the police later discovered other bags, which were buried, says the same source.

According to a source close to the investigation, “the first elements of the survey showed clearly that the material excavated during this fortuitous discovery belonged to the terrorist organization ETA. The anti-terrorism prosecution in Paris took over the investigation.

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