Alexa

10 detained over Basque attacks in France

10 detained over Basque attacks in France

Ten people were detained Monday in southwest France in an investigation into attacks on tourist sites in Basque country, according to police and a Basque political group.
Anti-terrorist police detained five people in the Atlantic coast city of Bayonne and other towns in morning raids around the region, and gendarmes picked up five others, a police official said. The official was not authorized to be publicly named because of agency policy.
The Basque political group Askatasuna said the suspects were men, mostly in their 20s, and that their houses were also searched. The group planned protests later Monday to denounce the detentions.
The police official said the suspects were arrested as part of an investigation into attacks on real estate agencies, banks and tourist sites in France's Basque country.
The nationalist group Irrintzi is suspected of involvement in a series of attacks in 2007 that destroyed or damaged real estate agencies and vacation homes, leaving behind the slogan "Basque country is not for sale." The group threatened last year to carry out armed actions in France and Spain, and has called for a referendum on autonomy for traditionally Basque areas in southwest France.
A much bigger Basque separatist group, ETA, has been fighting since 1968 for an independent Basque homeland in northern Spain and southwestern France. Their attacks, which have killed more than 800 people, have generally targeted the Basque region in Spain.