French police find alleged ETA arms cache

French police found an arms cache allegedly belonging to the armed Basque separatist group Eta, officials said.

French police found an arms cache allegedly belonging to the armed Basque separatist group Eta, officials said.

They discovered chemicals that could be used to make explosives, dozens of detonators, two mines and several firearms, including two automatic pistols in a rented garage in the resort city of Biarritz, judicial officials said. The two mines were ready to be used.

Spanish security forces said earlier that up to 88 pounds of explosives and 150 detonators were found.

Police also found licence plates and documents with Eta markings, French judicial officials said.

The garage’s owner alerted police after – having not received word from the renters – he opened the garage.

Eta called off a 15-month-old cease-fire in June, blaming the Spanish government for a failed peace process and saying it was once again becoming “active on all fronts”

This was interpreted as signalling an imminent resumption of attacks, but so far there have not been any.

The armed group has used the Basque region of France over recent years as a safe haven for members and arms dumps.

Eta has killed more than 800 people since 1968 in its bid to carve an independent Basque state from parts of north-east Spain and south-west France.

Eta, a Basque-language acronym for Basque Homeland and Freedom, interrupted its own cease-fire with a massive bombing at a Madrid airport parking garage on December 30 that killed two people.

The group later claimed the cease-fire was still in force, but then ended it definitively in June.

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