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EUROPE > Police arrest ETA member in France

MADRID - Agence France-Presse

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French police arrested a top member of ETA on July 4, wanted in connection with a planned missile attack on then Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar in 2001, officials said.

ETA member Juan Maria Mugica was detained near the city of Pau in southwestern France in a joint French-Spanish operation, Spain’s interior ministry said in a statement.

Mugica had escaped a police raid in 2010 in Lizarta in Spain’s Basque region. The operation dismantled an ETA cell, of which he was a member, suspected of transporting material for attacks.

Leaders had ordered the cell to fire a missile at a plane that was transporting Aznar to Bilbao, the interior ministry said. The cell transported the missile from France to the Spanish town of Hernani but the attack never took place. ETA announced in October last year the “definitive” end to a campaign of bombings and shootings to try to carve out an independent Basque.

July/06/2012

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