The Basque separatist group ETA announced Thursday a "definitive cessation of its armed activity" in a statement published on the website of Gara, a newspaper that the group has used to convey messages in the past.
Listed as a terrorist organization by Spain, the United States and the European Union, ETA is blamed for hundreds of deaths in its decades-long fight for an independent Basque state that it wants carved out of sections of northern Spain and southwestern France.
Thursday's announcement follows a recent push for the group to abandon violence permanently. That effort was led by international figures who include Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams of Northern Ireland and former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
In a nationally televised address hours after the announcement was posted, Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero termed ETA's announcement as being of "transcendental importance" and a "victory for democracy."
"Ours will be a democracy without terrorism, but not without memory," Zapatero said, referring to 829 people killed by ETA and their families.FULL STORY