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Basque group announces it is dissolving

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January 3, 2013 12:27 PM EST | AP


BAYONNE, France — The Basque nationalist group known as Batasuna – legal in France but banned in Spain – has announced that it is dissolving after 11 years.

It leaders said Thursday that Batasuna, which means "unity," is dissolving because "the Basque country is witnessing a new political phase."

In Spain, Batasuna has been outlawed since 2003 for its links to the separatist group ETA, but in France it has had a low-profile presence pressing for autonomy for the three French Basque provinces and union with the four Basque provinces in Spain.

A statement by Batasuna noted the ETA's decision to end armed conflict in January 2011. The group said its struggle for a "free, united Basque country" will continue with other "political tools."