ETA political wing to urge permanent ceasefire: Spain report

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The banned political wing of Basque terrorist group ETA will on Saturday call for a "permanent, unilateral and verifiable ceasefire", a newspaper in Spain reported.

The Batasuna movement, ruled illegal in 2003 due to its links with ETA, will sign an agreement with new political allies aimed at "a peaceful scenario and democratic solutions", Basque pro-independence newspaper Gara reported on its website.

The pact will call for an end to ETA violence, and for the ban on Batasuna to be lifted so that it can take part in municipal elections next year, it said.

The agreement was confirmed by one of Batasuna's new allies, Aralar, but the party did not provide any further more information.

ETA, blamed for 829 deaths in a campaign of bombings and shootings to secure an independent Basque homeland, has released two declarations in the past month proposing an end to violence and calling for international mediation.

Madrid dismissed both declarations as they fell short of its demand for the group to lay down arms permanently.

© 2010 AFP

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