The former political leader of the Basque separatist group ETA has been arrested in France after more than 16 years on the run, Spanish officials said Thursday.

Josu Ternera, whose real name is Jose Antonio Urrutikoetxea Bengoetxea, has been wanted by Spanish authorities since 2002 and is accused of being involved in a deadly car bomb attack on police barracks in Zaragoza in 1987, which killed 11 people.

"The militant of the terrorist organization ETA, wanted by the Spanish and French police services, has been detained in the town of Sallanches," the Spanish Interior Ministry said in a statement Thursday.

Read more: CNN