A top Spanish judge has approved a request by public prosecutors for a probe of suspected links between the Basque separatist group ETA and Colombia's Marxist rebel FARC movement.

National Court Judge Eloy Velasco acted on a petition prosecutors filed last month as they sought to indict five ETA members on suspicion of collaborating with the Colombian rebels.

The prosecutors said the two groups have held joint training sessions in the use of explosives. They said FARC and ETA have a relationship stretching back to at least 1993.

ETA is blamed for more than 820 deaths in its 40-year violent campaign for the creation of an independent Basque state in northern Spain and southwestern France.

The FARC is Colombia's most powerful rebel movement. Colombia, the United States and the European Union designate the FARC as a terrorist group.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.