French police arrest 'Eta leader'
An important arrest was made Saturday in southern France. The military head of Eta and two others were arrested in a joint operation between France and Spain.
French police have arrested a man believed to be the military chief of Eta, the Basque separatist group, according to Spanish officials.
Jurdan Martitegi and two other suspected Eta members were detained on Saturday in southeastern France, following a joint operation between French and Spanish police, news agencies reported.
Guy Hedgecoe, the editor of the English edition of the Spanish newspaper, El Pais, told Al Jazeera that Martitegi is seen as "probably the most senior member of Eta".
"At the moment it seems Eta really is in trouble. Most of its top leaders seem to be being pursued, infiltrated and arrested by authorities due in great part to the co-operation between the French and Spanish authorities," he said.
Eta has been blamed for the deaths of 825 people in its four-decade campaign for an independent Basque homeland in northern Spain and part of southwestern France.
Basques are ethnically distinct from the French and Spainish. They are believed to predate both those groups and traditionally had territory in south west France and northern Spain. In recent years Eta has been campaigning for a separate homeland for the Basque people. They have been accused of terrorism in trying to achieve their goals.