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Spanish Police Arrest 6 for Basque Separatist Violence


Spanish police have arrested six people suspected of vandalism and believed to have links to the militant Basque separatist group ETA.

The Interior Ministry, in a statement Wednesday, says anti-terrorism Judge Baltasar Garzon ordered the arrests, which took place overnight in the Basque towns of Getxo and Berango.

The statement says the suspects are thought to have been responsible for most of the street violence committed in the region in recent years.

Authorities blame gangs of young Basque radicals for various acts of vandalism, including attacks on banks.

The most recent incident occurred late Tuesday, when a bomb exploded near the home of a Spanish official in the Basque province of Navarra.

Many Basque separatists were angered by the recent arrests of 23 leaders of the banned Basque political party Batasuna.

Spanish authorities outlawed the group for ties with terrorists.

ETA separatists have fought a nearly 40-year guerrilla war for creation of an independent Basque state in northern Spain and southwestern France, killing more than 800 people.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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