updated 10/5/2007 5:01:10 AM ET 2007-10-05T09:01:10

Spanish police detained more than 20 senior members of an outlawed Basque party that is considered to be the political wing of the armed separatist group ETA on Thursday, officials said.

The Batasuna party officials were arrested in the northern town of Segura on the order of Spain’s National Court, a police official said, speaking on condition of anonymity in accordance with force policy.

Spanish news reports said anti-terror judge Baltasar Garzon issued the order.

Police raided a building where 22 members of Batasuna’s leadership were meeting, newspaper El Pais said on its Web site. They will be taken to Madrid for questioning, according to news reports.

What charges?
It was unclear what — if any — charges they would face, but the party has been outlawed since 2003 and is barred from organizing political activities.

The party’s leader, Arnaldo Otegi, has been in jail since June on terrorism charges.

In a separate incident, suspected ETA member Juan Carlos Iriarte Perez, 36, was arrested in Hendaye, France, the Interior Ministry said.

Batasuna was outlawed by Spain’s Supreme Court in March 2003 on grounds that it was the political wing of ETA, which has been blamed for more than 800 killings in bombings and other attacks since the 1960s. The group wants to establish an independent Basque state from parts of northeastern Spain and southwestern France.

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