French security officials have arrested the suspected top military leader of the Basque separatist organization, ETA.

Security sources tell Spanish and French news agencies that Jurdan Martitegi was detained along with two other ETA suspects in the eastern French city of Montauriol.

His capture follows a joint operation between Spanish and French police to arrest ETA members.

The two previous alleged leaders of the ETA (Aitzol Iriondo and Aspiazu Rubina) were arrested late last year.  

ETA is blamed for the deaths of  more than 800 people in its 40-year campaign for Basque independence in northern Spain and southern France.

Both the European Union and the United States consider ETA a terrorist organization.