34 suspected members of Eta youth wing arrested


THIRTY-FOUR suspected members of the youth wing of the Basque separatist group Eta have been arrested in a series of co-ordinated raids in northern Spain conducted by more than 900 police and civil guards.

The operation in the three Basque provinces and neighbouring Navarre was ordered by the Audiencia Nacional judge Fernando Grande-Marlaska, who has been responsible for many swoops against Eta.

It is believed the operation was the result of information gleaned after the arrest of senior Eta leaders in France and Spain earlier this year, when a large amount of valuable documentation was seized.

The files and computer disks are reported to have shown that Eta was trying to recruit a new generation of militants to fill its depleted ranks.

The latest detainees, many of them student leaders and candidates for nationalist parties in regional and local elections, are all aged between 23 and 26.

They are alleged to be members of Segi, Eta’s youth wing, which was banned two years ago.

Segi is believed to have been responsible for recruiting militants for Eta and training them for terrorist operations.

Its members have also been blamed for outbreaks of kale borroka(street violence), when gangs of youths regularly rampage on the streets attacking and firebombing banks, office buildings and public transport.