A suspected top member of Basque guerrilla group ETA, who had been in charge of relaying instructions from the rebels to political activists, was arrested on Monday in France, Spanish and French officials said.
Aitor Elizaran and another suspected ETA member, Oihana San Vicente, were picked up at a car park in the Breton town of Carnac, on the northwestern coast, French police said.
The arrests were linked to the detention of six senior members of ETA's banned political wing Batasuna in Spain last week, Spain's Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba told a news conference in Madrid.
Last Mod: 19 Ekim 2009, 23:08
"Aitor Elizaran has been arrested and, according to information of the Civil Guard, he was the head of ETA's political section, a member of their ruling council and the man in charge of sending instructions to the Abertzale Left," said Rubalcaba, using a Basque language name for the pro-independence radicals grouped in Batasuna.
The two suspected guerrillas, who were armed, were loading a car when they were arrested by French police.
Monday's arrests follow a series of blows against ETA in France after arrests and major arms seizures during the summer.
ETA, whose name Euskadi ta Askatasuna means Basque Homeland and Freedom, was founded 50 years ago during the dictatorship of Francisco Franco and has fought against Spaine for an independent Basque Country, causing to deaths of more than 800.