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More ETA suspects arrested

The arrests come a day after a bomb attack on Madrid's airport
The arrests come a day after a bomb attack on Madrid's airport  

BARCELONA, Spain -- Three people with suspected links to the Basque separatist group ETA have been arrested by Spanish police.

The arrests on Tuesday are the latest development in a new joint crackdown by Spain's central and regional security forces which has resulted in at least 14 arrests.

The suspects -- two men and a woman -- were arrested in Barcelona on Tuesday, the day after a bomb exploded at Madrid's Barajas airport, Reuters reported.

They are believed to be connected with the ETA command cell which had been operating in the northeastern port city, a spokesman for the paramilitary Civil Guard said.

That unit is held responsible for a several killings including that of former Socialist minister Ernest Lluch last November.

Basque separatist group, ETA, claims responsibility for a blast in Madrid. CNN's Al Goodman reports (August 27)

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graphic Basque conflict: Violence in Spain

  • Overview
  • Living in fear
  • Standing vigil
  • ETA background
  • Q&A on ETA
  • ETA timeline
  • Map: Violence
  • Video archive
  • Recent stories

Last week, authorities arrested more than a dozen suspected ETA members in operations in the Basque region and Catalonia, and seized explosives.

The crackdown is the fruit of a new agreement between the autonomous regional and central governments, allowing the co-operation of their distinct police forces against the separatist rebels for the first time.

Monday's bomb blast in Madrid was the third attack in a month attributed to ETA and targeted at Spain's tourist industry.

The bomb was placed in a white Renault 19 vehicle left in a car park for Terminal 2 which carries mainly domestic flights but also some European destinations.

No one was injured but the blast damaged dozens of vehicles.

ETA warned in March that it would target the tourist industry, which generates about $60 billion a year, or 10 percent of Spain's gross domestic product.

Hours after the Madrid bomb a man was arrested in Malaga -- the scene of another airport bomb this summer -- on suspicion of being an ETA member, Reuters news agency reported.

ETA has been blamed for a total of around 800 deaths since 1968 when it launched its violent campaign for an independent homeland in Basque-speaking areas of northern Spain and southwestern France.

• Car bomb at Madrid airport
August 27, 2001
• Mystery Spain blast kills woman
August 20, 2001
• Q&A: Changing face of ETA
• Tourists defy ETA threats
July, 29, 2001
• Plea for calm after Spanish blast
August 18, 2001
• ETA raid nets arms cache
August 24, 2001

• Basque Country
• Spanish government

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