Spanish police detain ETA fugitive at Madrid airport

Spanish police on Sunday arrested a member of the armed Basque separatist group ETA suspected of belonging to a unit that killed several police officers in the 1980s, the interior ministry said.

AFP| Updated: Jun 08, 2014, 14:57 PM IST

Madrid: Spanish police on Sunday arrested a member of the armed Basque separatist group ETA suspected of belonging to a unit that killed several police officers in the 1980s, the interior ministry said.

Police detained Maria Jesus Elorza Zubizarreta, 66, at Madrid`s Adolfo-Suarez Barajas airport under a European arrest warrant issued by France in 2006, the ministry said in a statement.

Zubizarreta, also known by her alias "Karakate", was a member of ETA`s Donosti unit "which was responsible for the murder of several police officers in the 1980s" in the Basque province of Gipuzkoa, it added.

She fled to France in the 1980s, allegedly joining ETA`s underground structures there.

"In the mid-1990s she participated in making homemade explosives for terrorist organisation under the orders of the head of its logistical apparatus, Julian Achurra Egurrola, alias `Pototo`," the statement said.

ETA, which announced an end to violence in 2011, is blamed for the shooting and bombing deaths of 829 people in a four-decade campaign for an independent Basque homeland in northern Spain and southwestern France.

It is classed as a terrorist group by both the United States and the European Union.

Earlier this year, the group said it would put its arsenal of weapons "out of operational use", in a historic first step towards disarmament.

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