France: police find ETA weapons trove, arrest 5

AP News
Posted: Dec 17, 2016 8:01 AM
France: police find ETA weapons trove, arrest 5

MADRID (AP) — Spanish and French police have made five arrests after discovering a suspected weapons trove for the Basque militant group ETA in southern France, the French interior minister said Saturday.

Bruno Le Roux said in a statement that the arrests were made late Friday night when police found explosives and guns in a house in the French town of Louhossoa.

"They are the result of excellent cooperation" with Spanish authorities, Le Roux said in a written statement.

Spain's Interior Ministry had previously announced three arrests in Louhossoa.

French Lawyer Michel Tubiana, honorary president of the League of Human Rights, said the people who have been arrested in fact wanted to destroy ETA weapons.

"They are members of civil society who have only one concern, that ETA implements its commitment to disarm," Tubiana told BFM television.

In 2011 ETA announced it was renouncing violence in its campaign for independence for the Basque regions of northern Spain and southwest France. It has yet to disarm or disband. It is blamed for over 800 deaths from 1968 to 2010.