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Title: Spanish police display recently seized ETA bomb-making material
Author: Fraser Trevor
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Spanish police combating the armed Basque separatist group ETA have displayed a cache of 1.6 metric tons (1.8 tons) of bomb-making material ...

Spanish police combating the armed Basque separatist group ETA have displayed a cache of 1.6 metric tons (1.8 tons) of bomb-making material seized in two raids earlier this week.
Apart from chemical compounds used in making explosives, the exhibit included detonators, a handgun and fuel canisters.
The seizures were made in a series of hideouts in the northern Basque region and adjacent Navarra using information provided by an ETA suspect arrested Tuesday.
The display was arranged in secure premises within a Civil Guard barracks in the northern seaside city of San Sebastian on Saturday.
Two suspects were being held in connection with the seizures on suspicious of belonging to a terror organization, a national court judge said. Spain, France, the EU and the U.S. consider ETA a terror group.
ETA declared what it called a permanent cease-fire in January and had said it was open to letting international observers verify the truce.
The uncovering of such a large stash of explosives, coupled with the shooting in France last weekend of a police officer who was wounded in the shoulder during a gunbattle with two fleeing ETA suspects, has raised doubts about the credibility that can be given to the cease-fire.
ETA's most recent "permanent" cease-fire was in 2006, but it ended with a car bomb at a parking garage at Madrid's international airport that killed two people.
Many observers believe the truce is merely a ploy for pro-independence activists to gain a political advantage in the run-up to municipal and regional elections on May 22, and possibly for ETA to restock its arsenals.
Spain's government insists that for outlawed Basque separatist party Batasuna — ETA's political wing — to be able to field candidates they must renounce violence and ETA must lay down its weapons for good.
ETA's pro-independence political allies recently formed a new party called Sortu that says it rejects ETA violence, but on March 23 the Supreme Court ruled against this happening, saying Sortu is a repackaged version of Batasuna.
ETA has killed more than 825 people in Spain since the late 1960s in a campaign to create a Basque homeland along the Atlantic coast in an area that encompasses part of northern Spain and southwestern France.



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