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Spain's Basque Separatists End Ceasefire


Spain's armed Basque separatist group, ETA, says it is ending its 15-month ceasefire, signaling the demise of a once-promising peace process already disabled by a deadly bombing in December.

The Basque group, in a published statement, says it will resume its four decade armed struggle Wednesday. The statement accuses the government of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero of failing to meet minimum conditions to continue negotiations.

In response, the prime minister told a national television audience that "ETA is again making a mistake." He said the ETA move goes " in radically the opposite direction" to the path sought by Spanish society.

The Madrid government suspended exploratory peace talks with ETA early this year, after a bomb linked to the group exploded at the Madrid airport December 30. Two people died in the blast.

More than 800 people have been killed since 1968, when ETA launched a violent campaign for an independent Basque state in northern Spain and southwestern France. Spain's high court banned the group's political wing, the Batasuna Party, under laws authorizing such action against political parties found to support terrorism.


Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.
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