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MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish police arrested three people on Tuesday in connection with the theft of five paintings by the Irish-born artist Francis Bacon that were worth 25 million euros ($26.88 million), the Interior Ministry said.

Police raided six homes in the Madrid region and seized a gun, ammunition, manuals to cracking safes, laser devices and oxy-fuel cylinders used to cut metal, the ministry said in a statement.

The three people were "directly connected" to the robbery and were part of a group that burgled homes across Spain, the statement said. Five other members of the gang were also arrested for a further 15 robberies.

The art works, which police have not identified, have not been found since they were stolen from a home back in 2015, a ministry spokesman said.

(Reporting by Amanda Calvo; Editing by Angus Berwick and Richard Lough)

Reuters