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Spanish police arrest 7 for suspected ETA links

By Al Goodman, CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The seven are suspected of trying to gain international support for ETA
  • ETA declared a unilateral ceasefire September 5
  • The government and political parties doubt the cease-fire is enough
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Madrid, Spain (CNN) -- Spanish police arrested seven people early Tuesday in northern Spain for suspected links to the outlawed Basque separatist group ETA, an Interior Ministry spokeswoman told CNN.

The seven are suspected of trying to gain international support for ETA both before and after the unilateral ceasefire it declared Sept. 5, said the spokeswoman, who by custom is not named.

The Spanish government and major political parties have said the ceasefire is not enough, because ETA has broken them in the past. The government and the parties are demanding a definitive statement from ETA to end its decades-long violence forever and lay down its arms.

ETA is blamed for more than 800 deaths in its long fight for Basque independence and is listed as a terrorist group by the United States and the European Union.

The government said it will not ease up on ETA during its ceasefire, and the Tuesday arrests follow others since the September 5 ceasefire announcement.