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Basque separatists declare ceasefire, according to reports

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-09-05

Basque separatist group ETA is declaring a ceasefire, according to the website of Basque newspaper Gara on Sunday. Separately, the BBC reported that it has obtained an ETA video with the same declaration.

REUTERS - The Basque separatist group ETA has decided to stop carrying out armed attacks, Basque-language newspaper Gara said on its website on Sunday.
 
Gara did not make clear whether the ceasefire was permanent or temporary.
 
Interior ministry officials declined to comment on the statement by ETA, which has been responsible for around 850 deaths in a four-decade fight to carve out an independent Basque state in northern Spain and southern France.
 
In a video posted on the Gara site, three figures were shown dressed in black, their faces covered with white cloths with holes cut out for their eyes.
 
They were seated at a table under the emblem of the separatist group and next to the Basque flag, and the central figure made a statement in the Basque language.
 
"ETA makes it known that for several months now it has taken the decision not to carry out armed attacks," said a transcript of the statement, translated into Spanish, also posted on the Gara website.
 
ETA is ready "to start the democratic process," it said.
 
ETA has been crippled by the arrest of leading members in recent years. The group's leader was caught in February in northern France along with two senior ETA members.
 
ETA declared a permanent ceasefire in March 2006, but Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero called off the peace process later that year after the group detonated a car bomb at Madrid airport that killed two Ecuadorians.

Date created : 2010-09-05

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