Basque residents relieved, cautious over ETA news

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Basque residents Friday greeted news that the armed separatist group ETA is abandoning more than 40 years of violence with relief and caution.

In the chilly streets of the northern city of San Sebastian, many were overjoyed.

"This is the news we have been waiting for for a very long time," said 46-year-old Carlos Arguilea as he headed to work in the city centre, one of many who declared the announcement was historic.

Others were more guarded.

"In principle it is good but it comes with conditions," said pensioner Martin Marticorena.

"They have not given up their arms and the people announcing peace were wearing hoods," he said.

In a video announcement Thursday by three white-hooded militants, ETA declared an end to a violent campaign that claimed 829 lives since its birth in 1959 during General Francisco Franco's dictatorship.

© 2011 AFP

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