Three suspected ETA combatants arrested in France

French police on Monday arrested three suspected members of the armed Basque separatist group ETA, including the alleged second in command of its military wing, and found a weapons cache.

Another of those detained, Idoia Mendizabal, is suspected of being responsible for a car bomb attack against Eduardo Madina, the leader of a Socialist youth group in Spain, according to the Spanish Interior Ministry.

Madina's left leg had to be amputated after the 2002 attack.

The Spanish ministry identified the alleged No. 2 of ETA's military wing as Harriet Aguirre. It said he is one of the most wanted alleged terrorists in France and Spain and has been an active ETA member since 1995.

The identity of the third person arrested was not immediately known.

French anti-terrorism investigating magistrate Marie-Antoinette Houyvet ordered the arrests. The three were picked up Monday morning in Arpajon-sur-Cere, a town in the Cantal region of south-central France.

Police also found a "small arsenal" in the house where they had been staying, prosecutor Marc Robert affirmed.

The suspects were expected to be transferred to Paris, the AP reports.

Photo: Deutsche Welle

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