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Originally published Saturday, October 27, 2012 at 9:42 PM

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Spain: French police arrest top Basque ETA leader

Spain's Interior Ministry says an alleged leader of the Basque separatist group ETA has been arrested in eastern France.

The Associated Press

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MADRID —

Spain's Interior Ministry says an alleged leader of the Basque separatist group ETA has been arrested in eastern France.

The ministry said in a statement that Izaskun Lesaka and another as yet unnamed suspected member of the violent armed band were arrested in a hotel in Macon in the early hours of Sunday.

The suspects had been tracked by a special operations tactical unit of the French National Police and were both armed at the time of their arrest.

ETA is considered a terrorist organization by Spain, the U.S. and the European Union and is blamed for the killings of more than 825 people in a violent campaign of bombings and shootings for an independent Basque state straddling the border with France.

ETA was decimated by arrests over recent years.

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