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Spain makes arrests in ATM gas explosions 

Britons have taken a leading role in a wide-spread criminal organisation dedicated to blowing up ATM cash machines with acetylene explosives, say Spanish police.

Arrests have been made in Malaga , including the leader of one gang which introduced this robbery method to Europe.

According to the UK authorities, some of those arrested were part of a criminal organisation based in Britain which, by the same method, has managed to steal six million pounds through at least 40 operations.

In all, 13 people have been arrested and about 18,000 euors seized, together with firearms and police devices for controlling telecommunications equipment, five kilograms of hashish and ten vehicles, mostly registered in Britain. One of the vans was full of gas bottles.

The explosives were made by the criminals and used to break open the ATM, causing extensive damage to the surroundings as well. In one incident, 80,000 euros was stolen. At one stage, suspects were chased over the rooftops in Mijas.