Europe

France arrests Eta commander and alleged accomplice

Eta announcement (October 2011) Image copyright Other
Image caption Eta announced last year that it was ending its armed campaign

The military leader of the Basque separatist group Eta has been arrested in France along with an alleged accomplice, Spanish officials say.

Oroitz Gurruchaga Gogorza and Xabier Aramburu - allegedly his deputy - were detained in the town of Cauna in southwestern France.

The capture was a joint operation between Spanish and French police.

Eta has killed hundreds of people over decades, but in recent years has been considerably weakened.

In October last year, the group announced a cessation of armed activity, but it has not surrendered any weapons or disbanded.

According to Spain's interior minstry, the men were travelling in a stolen vehicle with fake registration plates, and both were armed with handguns.

Eta, which has operated since the late 1960s, has carried out a number of bombings and other attacks in an attempt to force the creation of a Basque homeland. Spain, the US and the EU consider it a terrorist organisation.

More on this story