Basque separatists Eta 'truly sorry' for victims of campaign of terror

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"We wish to show our respect for those who were killed or wounded by Eta and those who were affected by the conflict".

Basque separatist group ETA on Friday apologized to the victims of its decades-long conflict for independence, just days before an expected announcement of its dissolution.

Spain's government said ETA was defeated politically and operationally and did not achieve any of its goals, the BBC reported. "We ask forgiveness to those people and their families", it said.

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ETA is committed "to finally overcome the consequences of the conflict and to not fall into its repetition, " the statement said.

ETA, designated a terrorist group by the US government, has been blamed for the deaths of more than 850 people since the late 1960s in its quest for an independent homeland out of territory in northern Spain and southwestern France. It handed over its arms past year. "We truly apologise", it added, admitting its "direct responsibility" in the "disproportionate suffering" in the Basque country.

The group, whose full name is Euzkadi Ta Askatasuna, which means Basque fatherland and freedom in the Basque language, began handing over its weapons and explosives in April of 2017 and plans to disband officially on the first weekend of May.

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The group said it recognizes that many people would always see its actions as "unacceptable and unjust", but also said that the actions of Spanish state forces "under the guise of the law" can also be viewed as wrong. The organisation, which has never apologised for its bloody campaign before, recognised the "damage" caused in the course of its "armed trajectory".

"The declaration that ETA no longer exists will be very clear", the Israeli academic, a member of the International Contact Group, told Basque radio EITB.

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