French Policeman Killed By Eta: Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero
A French policeman has been shot dead near Paris. The killing is being blamed on the Basque separatist group Eta.
The death came during a shoot out with a gang stopped for the suspected stealing of cars from Dammarie-les-Lys, a suburb in the south-east of Paris. As papers were being checked another car drew oup and started firing at the police. The police officer who died was shot in the chest.
This is the first time that a French policemen has been killed by Eta who have been blamed for the deaths of over 800 people since the 1960's. The groups use terrorist tactics in their campaign for an independent Basque state.
A high ranking Eta leader, Ibon Gogeascoechea was arrested by the French in North West France last month.Gogeascoechea and two other Eta suspects were picked up in a joint French-Spanish operation in Normandy.
The Spanish prime minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, praised the French for their co-operation in trying to close down Eta cells. Mr Zapatero said France had ""paid a high price for its help against Eta".
Eta had been observing a 15 month truce before starting terrorist attacks again in 2007. Eta has been campaigning for an independent Basque region for 41 years. The Basque region sits in northern Spain and south-west France.
French and Spanish police are continuing the search for the policeman's killers.
Anti-terrorist police in Paris and the Spanish Government confirmed today that attackers, which included at least one woman, were assumed to be members of ETA, the separatist organisation. ETA has come under pressure in recent years as France has cracked down on its havens.