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French police find ETA cache, arrest 5

21 December 2016, 12:21

Madrid - Spanish and French police have made five arrests after discovering a suspected weapons cache for the Basque militant group ETA in southern France, the French interior minister has announced.

Bruno le Roux said in a statement that the arrests were made late on Friday night when police found explosives and guns in a house in the French town of Louhossoa.

"They are the result of excellent co-operation" with Spanish authorities, said Le Roux.

Spain's Interior Ministry had previously announced three arrests in Louhossoa.

French lawyer Michel Tubiana, honorary president of the League of Human Rights, said the people who have been arrested in fact wanted to destroy ETA weapons.

"They are members of civil society who have only one concern, that ETA implements its commitment to disarm," said Tubiana.

The ETA announced in 2011 that it was renouncing violence in its campaign for independence for the Basque regions of northern Spain and southwest France. It has yet to disarm or disband. It is blamed for over 800 deaths from 1968 to 2010.

- AP

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