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ETA admits carrying out recent killings in Spain
MADRID, Spain -- Basque separatist group ETA has claimed responsibility for a spate of killings in Spain.
In a statement, it admitted last month carrying out four murders and planting a car bomb in Madrid which injured 11 people.
ETA said it was behind the murder of leading Basque businessman Jose Maria Korta in a car bomb attack on August 8 as well as the fatal shooting of army officer Francisco Casanova at his home in Pamplona a day later.
The group also admitted planting a bomb which killed two Civil Guard police officers near the border with France in the Pyrenees mountains on August 20.
But the statement made no mention of the murder, earlier this week, of Spanish town councillor Manuel Indiano, 29, who was shot 10 times in the chest and abdomen inside his sweet store in Zumarraga.
Indiano represented the ruling Popular Party, which fiercely opposes Basque separatism and other moves to change Spain's political makeup.
ETA's statement, issued on Friday to the Basque newspaper Gara, confirmed that four people killed on August 7 when a bomb they were transporting accidentally exploded were members of the organisation
Dozen murders since December
Gara quoted ETA -- which has killed 12 people since it ended a ceasefire in December last year -- as expressing its "deepest sorrow" for the families of its four dead members.
"The explosion on August 7 in Bolueta (Bilbao) was a combat accident which occurred when our four battle comrades were going to carry out an operation," the statement said.
ETA confirmed that one of them was Patxi Rementeria, a suspected senior ETA commander wanted for several killings including the infamous kidnap and murder in 1997 of a local politician.
"For their love and determination in the fight for independence and socialism among the Basque people, these four fighters are an example for all ETA members," the statement said.
The statement came a day after Spain's Interior Minister Jaime Mayor Oreja held a series of meetings with opposition leaders to discuss the security crisis.
Group admitted previous attacks
Last month ETA issued a similar statement in which it claimed responsibility for a series of attacks between May 9 and July 29.
They included fatal shootings of a former civil governor in the Basque province of Guipuzcoa and of a ruling Popular Party councillor in the southern city of Malaga
As a result of those attacks, an estimated 40,000 anti-ETA demonstrators marched through Pamplona and the Spanish government was reported to be planning a crackdown against ETA.
Oreja told the Basque newspaper El Correo de Bilbao: "There will be important results against the groups that are taking part in the ETA offensive in the coming months."
Since 1968, ETA has been linked to around 800 deaths.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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