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ETA hints at readiness to disarm on victims' day

Bildu representatives present at ceremonies in honor of those killed by terrorist organization

San Sebastián / Madrid

ETA said on Thursday that "disarmament is on the agenda" and that it "is ready to make commitments." In a preview of a 12-page interview due out on Friday in Gara, a newspaper traditionally used by the terrorist group to make its statements, ETA has shed some light onto questions that have been left hanging in the air since the announcement three weeks ago that it was quitting violence.

Despite nationwide relief at that news, many have since noted that ETA did not say if and when it would turn in its weapons, or indeed whether it plans to disband at all.

In the Gara exclusive, ETA said that the decision to end its 40-year campaign of violence, which left a trail of over 800 deaths, "was not simple" and that it brings with it "a great sense of responsibility."

This signaling of intentions by ETA came as Basques observed Memory Day. The region's political parties had hoped to unite in solidarity with victims of terrorism, but in the end no such unity message could be agreed upon.

For the first time a political grouping from abertzale circles, traditionally linked to ETA, honored victims of terrorism. Bildu councilors from San Sebastián attended a ceremony but did not lay flowers at the city's memorial for the dead. Bildu's Martín Garitano, the provincial chief of Gipuzkoa, also attended a ceremony in San Sebastián.