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France charges alleged Eta Basque separatists

Spanish Interior ministry/DR

France has charged two alleged members of the Basque separatist group Eta, who were arrested last week in the central town of Moulins, a judicial source said on Tuesday.

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Oier Ibarguren Sarasola, a 26-year-old who is among the ETA members most wanted in Spain, was arrested along with Montxo Arkaitz Varea Echeverria, who is 30, as they emerged from a hotel in Moulins at around midday on Thursday.

Sarasola was allegedly carrying a nine-millimetre pistol when arrested.

The two were taken to Paris and on Monday they were charged with offences including that of criminal association in connection with a terrorist enterprise.

Eta is thought to have been responsible for 829 deaths throughout its forty year campaign of violence in the pursuit of independence for the Basque Country of northern Spain and southwestern France.

The organisation is classed as a terrorist group by the European Union and the United States and announced in October 2011 that it was giving up its armed struggle.

 

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