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Demonstration launched in Spain's Basque region to protest ETA arrests

Between 100,000 and 110,000 people according to police estimates demonstrated in the streets of the Basque city of Bilbao on Saturday in the wake of arrests of ETA members.

The demonstration was launched after a judge rule illegal a previous march in favor of a change in government operation of arresting the members of the separatist group ETA.

It was prohibited by Judge Eloy Velasco after another judge, Pablo Ruz, had originally given permission saying the march was legal.

All of this came in the context of a police operation during the week which saw eight arrested, including lawyers, with supposed links to ETA.

Those arrested were said to be in contact with the around 600 ETA members in Spain's jails.

ETA announced a permanent ceasefire two years ago, putting an end to its 45 year violent campaign which cost over 800 lives and was criticized by many political parties.

[Source: Xinhua, Madrid, 11Jan14]

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