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Page last updated at 17:42 GMT, Wednesday, 26 August 2009 18:42 UK

Spain warns Eta 'a live threat'

Civil guard barracks in Burgos, Spain, damaged after a bomb for which Eta claimed responsibility
Attacks have marked the approach of the group's 50th anniversary

Spain's interior minister has warned that the Basque separatist group Eta is still dangerous, despite a series of arrests and seizures of weapons caches.

On Tuesday, French police uncovered a stash of explosives and ammunition in a remote region of rural southern France.

It was the 12th seizure since the arrest of three suspected Eta members believed to be involved in organising the militant group's logistics.

Alfredo Rubalcaba said Eta was still determined to strike, El Pais reports.

But the interior minster said Spanish authorities - working alongside French police - would not falter in their pursuit of the group's members.

"We are completely determined. They can change the way they operate, hide in places large or small, go north or south, but our security forces will follow them and arrest them," Mr Rubalcaba said.

'Desire to kill'

He said the threat presented by Eta - which claimed responsibility for a number of bombings in Spain in July, carried out just ahead of the 50th anniversary of its founding - remained "very real".

More than 40 people were injured by a bomb blast in Burgos, northern Spain, then two Civil Guards were killed by a car bomb on the resort island of Majorca.

"We cannot under-estimate Eta's capacity and its desire to kill," Mr Rubalcaba said.

The weapons dump discovered in southern France's remote Herault region included pistols, explosives and detonators.

The find is the 12th uncovered since 19 August, when three suspected members of the group were arrested.

Aitzol Etxaburu Arteche, 30, Andoni Sarasola, 36, and Alberto Machain Beraza, 28, were charged on Monday with joining an illegal group intent on carrying out acts of terror.

A total of 800kg (1,764lb) of explosive substances, 15 ready-to-use bombs, an automatic rifle, 18 pistols, thousands of rounds of ammunition, 244 detonators and stolen car plates have been seized in the raids over the past seven days.

Eta, a militant group fighting for the creation of an independent Basque homeland, has been blamed for more than 820 deaths during its separatist campaign.



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