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What is ETA?

ETA is an acronym for Euskadi Ta Askatasuna, meaning "Basque Homeland and Freedom".

The armed nationalist organisation, founded in 1959, has waged a long campaign for independence for the seven regions in northern Spain and south-western France which Basque separatists claim as their own.

Over the years, the group, which was founded by a student movement heavily opposed to the military dictatorship of General Franco, has evolved from an organisation promoting traditional Basque culture to a paramilitary group.

ETA's first confirmed killing occurred in 1968, when Guardia Civil member Jose Pardines Arcay was shot dead after he tried to halt ETA member Txabi Etxebarrieta during a routine road check.

Since then, the group has been held responsible for more than 800 killings, injuring thousands and undertaking dozens of kidnappings.

It has declared several ceasefires, but all were broken - the most notorious incident being the bombing of a car park at Madrid airport in December, 2006, which left two people dead.

A "permanent ceasefire" was announced in January last year.

CAPTION(S):

BLAST: A car bomb explosion in the centre of Madrid, believed to be the work of Basque terror group ETA
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUSP
Date:Nov 17, 2012
Words:191
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