Eta 'will let its ceasefire be verified'
The militant Basque separatist group Eta has said it is prepared to allow observers to verify that a ceasefire it has declared is real.
Eta declared what it called a permanent ceasefire in January and now says it "is ready to accept an informal mechanism for verification" by an international commission. The statement was published yesterday in the Basque newspaper Gara, a mouthpiece for the group.
Government spokesman Ramon Jauregui said he was not sure what an informal verification meant, and a spokeswoman for the main opposition party said in a democracy it was the security forces who corroborated whether acts of terrorism were committed or not.
Many Spaniards view Eta's ceasefire as part of a ploy to get members of its banned political wing Batasuna included on electoral lists for local and regional elections due in May.
The government has said that the only way militants linked to Batasuna could run for office is if they renounce violence and Eta lays down its arms for good.
On 11 March, French police arrested four men in northern France on suspicion of being active Eta members, seizing arms, documents and computers. Then on March 21 French officers arrested another Eta suspect, Jone Lozano, who was also armed.
Eta is considered a terrorist organisation by Spain, the European Union and the United States.
It has killed more than 825 people since the late 1960s.
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