2 ETA members detained in London
MADRID - Two members of the Basque separatist organization ETA were detained Friday in London, Spanish Interior Ministry sources said, describing the arrests as a "heavy blow" for the group.
On Oct. 20, ETA declared an end to its 43-year campaign of bombings and shootings, which claimed about 850 lives. Despite ETA laying down arms, Spain has continued arresting its suspected members, about 20 of whom have been held since the announcement.
Antonio Troitino and Ignacio Lerin were captured in a London flat in the early morning hours. The operation was carried out jointly by British and Spanish police.
Troitino previously had been imprisoned on a 30-year prison sentence for about 20 killings. He was released in 2011 after 24 years, based on a controversial interpretation of prison law, which was then revoked. The National Court ordered that Troitino had to return to prison, but he had already fled.
Ignacio Lerin was on Spain's list of most-wanted ETA suspects. He was believed to have been responsible for weapons transport and storage as well as for recruiting new ETA members.
Earlier this week, three other ETA suspects were detained, two of them in southern France. Spanish police are trying to locate about 20 ETA suspects living in European countries, according to the daily El Pais.
Spain rejects talks with ETA and insists that the group must dissolve.