Ex-ETA leader Josu Ternera detained in France

After more than 16 years on the run, Josu Ternera was arrested "in the early hours of Thursday morning in Sallanches [Haute Savoie] in the French Alps," the ministry said.

Ternera, whose full name is Jose Antonio Urrutikoetxea Bengoetxea, was the political chief of the now defunct ETA organization.

In 2011, ETA announced the end of its armed fight for independence of the Basque region that spans parts of northeastern Spain and and southwestern France. It surrendered its weapons in 2017 and was dissolved in May 2018.

Specifically, 68-year-old Ternera is wanted in connection with a 1987 attack in the Spanish city of Zaragoza by the Basque separatist group that killed 11 people. He was the most wanted among dozens of so-called "etarras" still on the run.

ETA, which started its fight for Basque independence in 1959, killed more than 800 people in over four decades of violence.

ng/rt (AFP, Reuters, EFE, AP)

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