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Basque separatists ETA hand police list of weapons stores

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By Euronews
Basque separatists ETA hand police list of weapons stores

<p>The Basque separatist group <span class="caps">ETA</span> began the process of handing over its remaining weapons on Saturday.</p> <p>Via intermediaries, it gave French police an inventory and a list of locations where arms can be found.</p> <p>The move effectively ends almost half a century of a deadly armed campaign.</p> <p>The handover of the files was made in the southern French city of Bayonne where a rally is being held on Saturday to mark the occasion.</p> <p>For the International Verification Commission, not recognised by Madrid or Paris, it is a cause for hope.</p> <p>“The Commission trusts that with the support of all relevant actors, this historic step will help to consolidate peace and coexistence in Basque society,” Ram Manikkalingam, the chairman of the <span class="caps">IVC</span>, told reporters in Bayonne. </p> <br /> <p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="fr"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Basque separatists ETA hand list of arms caches to French police: sources <a href="https://t.co/hjdo8uMQJX">https://t.co/hjdo8uMQJX</a> <a href="https://t.co/H1cz0Hujpg">pic.twitter.com/H1cz0Hujpg</a></p>— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) <a href="https://twitter.com/Reuters/status/850650721305460736">8 avril 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <br /> <p><span class="caps">ETA</span>, which declared a ceasefire in 2011, sought to carve out an independent state in southwest France and northern Spain.</p> <p>The weapons caches are said to include some 120 firearms and three tonnes of explosives as well as ammunition and detonators running into the thousands.</p> <p>The search for the arms stores in southwest France began immediately.</p> <br /> <img src="https://static.euronews.com/articles/36/26/362666/640x420_bonus-bask.jpg" style="width:100%;"/> <p style="font-size:12px;"><em>Photo: <span class="caps">REUTERS</span>/Regis Duvignau</em></p> <br /> <br /> <p>But if the Basque group thought handing over its arms would win favour in Madrid, it was mistaken.</p> <p>“They must disarm and disband,” Spanish government spokesman Inigo Mendez de Vigo told reporters.</p> <p>“They won’t get anything from the Spanish state, which has the support of all democrats.”</p> <p>Feelings run high in Spain over <span class="caps">ETA</span> which killed more than 850 people in a campaign weakened over recent years as members were arrested and weapons seized in joint Spanish and French operations</p> <br /> <p><em>with Reuters</em></p>