Saturday April 8, 2017
06:41 PM GMT+8

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French police officers and bomb-disposal experts are seen during investigations in Saint-Pee-sur-Nivelle near Bayonne April 8, 2017, after Basque militant separatist group ETA passed a list with the location of its arms caches to French authorities. — RFrench police officers and bomb-disposal experts are seen during investigations in Saint-Pee-sur-Nivelle near Bayonne April 8, 2017, after Basque militant separatist group ETA passed a list with the location of its arms caches to French authorities. — RPARIS, April 8 — France said a move by the Basque separatist group ETA to hand over weapons today was a “major step” and “an undeniably important day.”

“This stage of neutralising an arsenal of arms and explosives is a major step,” Interior Minister Matthias Fekl said. 

ETA earlier handed the French authorities a list of arms caches, an operation that it has said will complete its disarmament.

Fekl said “eight sites” were on the list.

“As the locations are progressively identified, the security forces will carry out operations to secure these sites and secure arms and explosives that may be found there,” he said.

Founded in 1959, ETA has been blamed for the deaths of 829 people in a string of bombings and shootings dating back to 1968. Thousands more were injured.

In 2011, ETA announced that it had abandoned its armed campaign, although this move did not entail disarmament. — AFP

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