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Spanish PM Rejects Any New Peace Overtures with ETA


Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has ruled out any further attempts at peace with the Basque separatist group ETA.

In a nationwide television address Tuesday, Mr. Zapatero said ETA made peace talks impossible with its bombing attack late last year in a parking garage at Madrid Airport. The blast was the first attributed to ETA since 2003.

The prime minister broke off attempts to negotiate an end to nearly four decades of violence after the December 30th bombing killed two Ecuadorians.

ETA early last month announced resumption of its armed campaign for an independent Basque state in northern Spain and southwestern France because of a lack of progress in peace talks.

Spain's vow to renew its crackdown on ETA militants has been accompanied by a joint Spanish-French push against the militant group.

Police this week announced the arrests of five ETA suspects in two operations. Monday, French police arrested three suspects in a car packed with explosives near the Spanish border. Early today, French police announced two more arrests near Paris.

More than 800 people have been killed since 1968, when ETA launched its violent independence campaign.

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

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