France arrests suspects over Basque hotel attack

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BORDEAUX, France, Sep 24 (Reuters) French police arrested 13 suspects today in an investigation over an attack last year on a hotel run by chef Alain Ducasse in the Basque country, a prosecutor and a judicial source said.

The suspects, who were of French or Spanish nationality, were arrested in southwestern France, the prosecutor said.

Last June, Ducasse's hotel near the city of Bayonne was damaged by two explosions in an unoccupied part of the complex.

Investigators suspect activists from Basque separatist group ETA or a French group sympathising with ETA of having conducted the attack, a judicial source said.

An anonymous group claiming responsibility for the attack had said in a statement it was protesting against ''political contempt and France's colonisation of the Basque country''.

REUTERS JK RK1845

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