February 16, 2008 / 12:26 PM / in 11 years

Spain confirms arrest of 4 ETA suspects in France

MADRID, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Spain named on Saturday two men arrested in France on suspicion of involvement in a December 2006 attack by Basque separatist group ETA on Madrid airport which killed two people.

The Interior Ministry confirmed in a statement that the two were Joseba Iturbide and Mikel San Sebastian, who were arrested in Saint-Jean-de-Luz on Friday.

It said the two people in whose house the arrests took place had also been detained, naming tham as Jose Antonio Martinez Mur and Asuncion Bengoechea.

In a statement, the ministry said the house had been watched for several weeks as Mur was suspected of being involved in financing ETA.

Two other ETA members suspected of involvement in the airport bomb were arrested in Spain in early January.

The bomb attack on the airport killed two people and ended any chance of success in peace negotiations which were being explored in 2006.

Spain’s Socialist government has been cracking down on ETA since that attack, in the face of fierce criticism from the conservative opposition who argue Zapatero should never have opened the door to talks.

Zapatero has said that if he wins a March 9 general election, he will not talk to the guerrillas who have killed more than 800 people in their violent campaign for independence. (Reporting by Joe Ortiz; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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