France: 6 suspected Basque separatists detained

PARIS (AP) — French authorities say six suspected members of Basque separatist group ETA have been detained in simultaneous police operations at three sites around France.

The Interior Ministry says the six were detained Tuesday. Unusually, the three sites lay beyond traditional Basque country in southwest France: Blois in central France, Montpellier near the Mediterranean coast, and Brive-la-Gaillarde, northeast of Bordeaux.

The ministry, in a statement, describes the six as “active members of clandestine ETA cells.” The statement does not provide other details.

ETA has been blamed for more than 800 killings in a campaign for an independent Basque state in Spain and France. Waves of arrests by French and Spanish authorities have weakened ETA in recent years.

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