Who are the Basque separatists?
Euskadi Ta Azkatasuna (ETA) stands for Basque Homeland and Freedom. The group seeks independence for seven regions in northern Spain and South-West France that they claim as their own. The ETA first appeared in the 1960s as a student resistance movement opposed to General Franco's military dictatorship (Franco banned the Basque language, suppressed their culture and had Basque intellectuals tortured for their beliefs).
Since Franco's death in 1975 Spain's Basque country now has more autonomy than any other region in Spain, including its own parliament, police force, education policies and ability to collect taxes, but hardline ETA members and supporters remain determined to fight for full independence.
In recent years there has been increasingly less backing for ETA. Although no-one can be sure of the numbers, in 2004 Spanish authorities estimated that there could be as few as 30 fully paid up members. &...