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ETA suspects held over 'bomb plot'

  • Story Highlights
  • Four alleged ETA members arrested in southern French city of Toulouse
  • Suspects had "major explosives" and planned car bomb attack, authorities say
  • Basque separatists classified as a terror group by U.S., EU
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(CNN) -- Four alleged members of Basque separatist group ETA were arrested Saturday in France, Spanish Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said.

French police search a house in a neighborhood where four alleged ETA members were arrested.

The three men and one woman were allegedly planning a car bomb attack, and investigators found a car bomb ready for use, he said Saturday at a press conference in Madrid, the Spanish capital.

The suspects were armed and had "major explosives," Rubalcaba said.

The arrests happened near Toulouse, France, Rubalcaba said.

ETA -- which stands for Basque Homeland and Liberty in the ancient Basque language -- wants an independent homeland made up of four Spanish provinces with Basque traditions, along with a portion of southwest France.

Spain, France and the European Union have all said they don't want an independent Basque state, and ETA is classified as a terrorist group by the European Union and the United States.

ETA on June 5 announced the end of its cease-fire. That cease-fire began in March 2006 with ETA's pledge that it would be "permanent," but Spain's government considered it broken since December 30, 2006, when an ETA car bomb at Madrid's airport killed two people. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

All About ETA Separatist Group

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