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Man arrested over plot to murder king of Spain

British police on Thursday arrested a man suspected of attempting to assassinate the king of Spain in 1997.

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Spanish and UK police have detained an ETA terrorist who is believed to be connected to the 1997 plot to kill Spanish King Juan Carlos. The ETA have been responsible for terrorist attacks in Spain for several years, such as this attack at Madrid's Barajas Airport in 2007. (Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP/Getty Images)

Both Spanish and UK authorities confirmed the arrest of Eneko Gogeaskoetxea Arronategui, who is believed to be a member of the separatist Basque group ETA.

For decades the militant group has waged a war of independence for the Basque region, and has been blamed for hundreds of deaths in Spain.

The BBC reported that the 44-year-old was apprehended in an intelligence-led operation in Cambridge, in which a residential address and two businesses were searched.

(From GlobalPost in Spain: Spanish mobs block evictions) 

Gogeaskoetxea is suspected of belonging to a cell that plotted to kill King Juan Carlos in Bilbao in October 1997, during the opening of the Guggenheim Museum.

The Spanish Interior Ministry said in a statement that Gogeaskoetxea was among ETA members who planned to launch grenades at the museum in Bilbao.

Reuters reported that he escaped from Basque police the same day, after a shootout which left one officer dead.

The agency said Gogeaskoetxea had been living with his family in Cambridge until his arrest.

ETA declared a permanent ceasefire on January 10, which was rejected by Spain because it did not include full disarmament.