France/Spain - 
Article published the Sunday 28 February 2010 - Latest update : Thursday 20 May 2010

Military chief of Eta arrested in France

Arms and explosives found in a recent raid on an Eta hideout
Photo: Reuters

By RFI

The suspected military chief of the Basque separatist organisation Eta was arrested on Sunday, according to the Spanish interior ministry. Ibon Gogeascoechea Arronategui was apprehended in Lower Normandy, in northwest France, during a joint operation with Spanish authorities.

Two other people were also arrested in the raid  - Beinat Aguinalde Ugartemendia, is a suspect in the 2008 assassination of Spanish parliamentarian Isaias Carrasco and businessman Ignacio Uria Mendizabal.

Ibon Gogeascoechea Arronategui
Ibon Gogeascoechea Arronategui
Photo: Guardia Civil

While Gergorio Jimenez Morales is a suspected member of an Eta unit which allegedly transports equipment for carrying out attacks.

The arrests took place in Cahan just after 6am. Arms, including handguns and automatic pistols were seized, as well as materials for building explosives, mobile phones, 6,000 euros in cash and computer equipment, and false police identity cards.

Arronategui, aged 54, was with Aguinalde Ugartemendiathe and Jimenez Morales in a stolen car falsely registered in France in January.

Eta have been blamed for nearly 830 deaths in their 41-year struggle for independence

Pont des Planches, in Cahan, France
Pont des Planches, in Cahan, France
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

for the Basque region.

The organisation is considered a terrorist organisation by the European Union and United States.

tags: Eta - France - Spain - Terrorism
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