October 14, 2009 / 4:32 AM / 10 years ago

Spain police move against ETA's political wing

MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish police have arrested six senior members of Basque guerrillas ETA’s outlawed political wing, state radio RNE reported on Tuesday.

An Interior Ministry spokesman said an operation against Batasuna senior members was underway, but did not give details.

The radio said the six party officials were arrested on the orders of High Court Judge Baltasar Garzon.

Batasuna is one of several political parties banned under 2003 legislation outlawing those who do not condemn terrorism.

French police arrested two suspected ETA members in southern France on Sunday as they were on their way to an arms cache.

ETA, whose complete name Euskadi ta Askatasuna means Basque Homeland and Freedom, was founded 50 years ago during the dictatorship of Francisco Franco and has killed more than 800 people in its campaign for an independent Basque Country.

Security forces believe it has been substantially weakened by hundreds of arrests in recent years in France and Spain but that it is still capable of fighting.

Reporting by Emma Pinedo; Writing by Martin Roberts

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