French police detain chief of separatist group ETA

Madrid, Nov 6 (IANS) French police arrested Mikel Irastorza, the leader of the Basque separatist group ETA, in the town of Ascain in the south of France, the Spanish Interior Ministry confirmed on Saturday.

Irastorza is the seventh ETA leader being arrested since the band announced a definitive ceasefire in November 2011. A 59-year-old Spanish man and a 56-year-old French woman, whose name are yet to be announced, were also arrested during Saturday’s operation, Xinhua news agency reported.

Irastorza was considered to be the most important member of the ETA, whose 40-year armed campaign for the independence of the Basque Region in the north of Spain claimed over 820 lives.