Spanish police have arrested five suspected members of the armed Basque separatist group ETA.

Interior Minister Jose Antonio Alonso says the operation was based on information provided by the arrest in France Sunday of 17 ETA suspects, including the guerrilla group's top political leader Mikel Albizu Iriarte. He says the four men and one woman, picked up in the towns of San Sebastian, Irun and Pamplona, were waiting for ETA instruction to carry out attacks.

Sunday's French raids also uncovered a huge arms cache that included two Russian or Soviet-made SAM-7 surface-to-air missiles.

More than 800 people have been killed in ETA's violent 36-year campaign for creation of an independent Basque state in northern Spain and southwestern France.