French police arrested three suspected members of Basque separatist group ETA today in the ski resort of Le Corbier after a wave of bombings in Spain which killed two people, Spanish and French authorities said.

The operation by Spanish and French police in the French Alps was still ongoing, a Spanish government official who asked not to be named said.
One of the detainees, Alberto Machain Beraza, was on a list of six wanted ETA suspects released by the government on July 31, the day after a car bomb killed two Spanish Civil Guards on the island of Mallorca.

Spanish newspaper El Pais said Machain Beraza was thought to have been involved in the Mallorca bombing as well as another July attack which injured 46 people at a Civil Guards barracks in northern Spain.

French police only confirmed the arrest of three ETA suspects.
ETA has carried out three large bombings in the last two months, in what analysts believe is an attempt to demonstrate the organisation is still active despite hundreds of arrests. There have also been reports of growing differences within the guerrilla group, between hardliners and others who would prefer peace talks.

ETA has been blamed for more than 800 deaths in the past 40 years in their campaign to carve out an independent Basque homeland in northern Spain and southern France.


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