ETA is deeply divided, say Spanish police

10th November 2008, Comments 0 comments

Police say the Basque separatist group is being split into groups, one who is for peace talks and the other who calls for new attacks.

10 November 2008

MADRID - Almost two years after the collapse of peace negotiations with the Spanish government, the militant Basque separatist group ETA is deeply divided, according to police intelligence.

According to El Pais’s report on Sunday, the group is split into two camps; one who is against further terrorist attacks and the other who is made up of hardliners.

The suspected ETA chief Francisco Javier Lopez Pena, alias Thierry, who was arrested in France in May and is against further terrorist attacks, had been ostracised by the group, the newspaper says quoting a police report.

Lopez Pena had been one of the main ETA negotiators during peace talks.

However, the group's alleged terrorist command leader Garikoitz Aspiazu, alias Txeroki, took a hard line of wanting new attacks to put pressure on the government.

In October, 28 people were slightly injured in a car bomb attack on a university in northern Pamplona following Aspiazu's call for a new wave of violence.

Peace talks between ETA and the government were aborted in December 2006 after an ETA attack on an airport in Madrid killed two people. Six months later, the group declared an end to their "permanent ceasefire".

For the past four decades, ETA has been fighting for Basque independence, a campaign that has claimed 850 lives.

[dpa / Expatica]

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