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Basque Group ETA Ends Armed Independence Campaign


A screen grab shows ETA members declaring a ceasefire in the Basque town of Guernica late last year.

A screen grab shows ETA members declaring a ceasefire in the Basque town of Guernica late last year.

The Basque separatist organization ETA has issued a statement saying it is ending its 43-year armed campaign for independence and called on Spain and France to open talks.

The group made the announcement in a statement on October 20 to the Basque daily "Gara," which it regularly uses as a mouthpiece.

ETA declared a permanent cease-fire in January, but up to now had not renounced armed struggle as a tool for achieving an independent Basque state, a key demand of the Spanish government.

ETA has killed 829 people in bombings and shootings since the late 1960s.

It is classified as a terrorist organization by Spain, the European Union and the United States.

compiled from agency reports
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