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Suspected Basque separatist leader arrested

Mikel Irastorza, the suspected leader of the Basque separatist group ETA, has been arrested on Saturday in southwestern France according to latest reports.
Spain’s Interior Ministry said in a statement that the arrest would make it “difficult for the terrorist group to reach any of its objectives". He is thought to have been leading the group since after previous leaders David Pla and Iratxe Sorzábal were arrested in September of 2015. More than 300 ETA militants remain in prison claim Spanish authorities.
ETA has been fighting for an independent Basque state in northern Spain and southern France for over 50 years – with more than 800 killed in conflict. The group declared a unilateral cease-fire in 2011.  
 
The Spanish government has been opposed to any negotiated surrender that may lend political benefits to the ETA or that can aid ETA members and supporters towards making a transition towards legal political activities.
 
Spain further rejected international mediation efforts – maintaining that it would not allow a deal such as that brokered in Northern Ireland.