Venezuela Detains Basque Terror Suspect

Venezuelan secret police arrested an alleged member of the Basque separatist group ETA on Friday, the Spanish Embassy said.

Police arrested Juan Victor Galarza, 43, in Maracay, 60 miles west of Caracas, said embassy spokesman Eduardo Avire. Wanted in Spain on terror charges, Galarza was being held in a Caracas jail pending extradition proceedings.

Details on his case weren't immediately available.

Since 1996, Spain has been seeking the extradition of seven suspected ETA members to try them as terrorists. At least 30 Basque citizens arrived here in 1984 as political refugees under an agreement among Spain, France and Venezuela. Some of the immigrants married Venezuelan citizens and had children here.

In April, Venezuelan Attorney General Isaias Rodriguez ordered the seven arrested.

Venezuela's government also is investigating the whereabouts of the other 23 ETA suspects.

ETA is classified as a terrorist group by Spain, the European Union and the United States. It has been fighting since the late 1960s to carve an independent Basque state out of lands straddling northern Spain and southwest France. Its campaign of bombings and shootings has killed more than 800 people.