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 Wednesday, 22 January, 2003, 18:09 GMT
Basque jailbreak brother re-captured
ETA car bomb attack in coastal resort of Salou, Spain
Berasategui is accused of involvement with ETA
French police have re-captured a suspected Basque separatist guerilla, six months after he escaped from jail by swapping places with his brother.

Ismael Berasategui Escudero was arrested during a dawn raid on a house near the Spanish border.

Ismael Berasategui
Berasategui was captured near the Spanish border
Mr Berasategui is regarded by the Spanish authorities as one of the leading members of the paramilitary group ETA.

He was captured along with another suspected ETA member, Laurence Guimon.

Ms Guimon is thought to have provided logistical support to the organisation.

Major feat

Police searched the house in the village of Estialesq in the French Pyrenees, seizing weapons, fake documents and equipment for making fake licence plates.

Spanish Interior Minister Angel Acebes described the arrests as "very important".

The Berasategui brothers managed to swap places during a prison visit in August, but warders at the prison only realised what had happened five days later.

BBC Paris correspondent James Coomarasamy says this was no small feat in one of the highest security jails in the country.

Mr Berasategui was first arrested in May and was being held in connection with a series of car bomb attacks in the Basque region of Spain.

He is suspected of belonging to an ETA cell that was broken up in December 2001.

ETA is blamed for more than 800 deaths during its 34-year campaign to create an independent Basque homeland out of territory in northern Spain and south-west France.

Spain, the European Union and the United States consider it a terrorist group.

See also:

05 Aug 02 | Europe
28 May 01 | Europe
27 Oct 00 | Crossing Continents
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