ETA admits police shootings and threatens more violence

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Basque group describes double murder as "executions"

17 December 2007

MADRID - Basque terrorist group ETA vowed on Friday to extend its bloody separatist campaign in a statement in which it also claimed responsibility for the 1 December murder of two Spanish police officers in France.

"We will act against the forces and repressive apparatus of the Spanish state, wherever they may be," the organisation said in the communiqué, extracts of which were published Friday on the website of radical Basque newspaper Gara.

The communiqué is the first by ETA since the murder of Civil Guard officers Raúl Centeno and Fernando Trapero, who were working undercover with French police when they were gunned down outside a café in Capbreton two weeks ago. Two of the three ETA members who allegedly carried out the killings were subsequently arrested in France.

In the statement, ETA refers to the murders as "executions" that occurred during an "armed confrontation." Neither Centeno or Trapero were armed. They were the first people to be killed by ETA in France since 1976. Along with those murders, the communiqué also attributes four other attacks to ETA since the group called off a ceasefire in June. The organisation claims it warned government representatives during the ceasefire that it would use violence if the "state-sponsored terrorism against Basque militants" did not cease.

The threat of new attacks is likely to put increased pressure on the government to clamp down on groups accused of supporting ETA, among them Basque Nationalist Action (ANV), a radical Basque political party that gained prominence in local elections in May. The administration is currently considering presenting a lawsuit to outlaw it.

[Copyright EL PAÍS, SL./ Ángeles Espinosa 2007]

Subject: Spanish news

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