Basque separatist group ETA announces it will lay down arms
After years of armed struggle, leaders of the Basque separatist movement ETA have announced they will no longer use violence in their effort to create a separate Basque state.
ETA, a group of violent extremist in the Basque region of Spain and France, announced Thursday that they would lay down their arms, but continue their efforts to create a separate Basque country.
According to reports from the BBC and from The New York Times, the group issued a statement today that this was the "definitive cessation of its armed activity." According to the BBC, if ETA makes good on its commitment, it would be the end of a campaign of violence that lasted more than 40 years and killed more than 800 people.
In the Times, Spanish prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero said “The state of law today triumphs. Our democracy will be one without terrorism, but not without memory.”
Questions remain, however, because ETA has declared unilateral cease fires before, only to see them broken a short time later. Though this time could be different, the Times said, because the group may have just 50 militants remaining who are capable of launching an attack.
The group has been under intense pressure from police forces in both France and Spain.