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Basque Separatists Admit Killing

September 22, 2000

MADRID, Spain (AP) _ The Basque separatist group ETA admitted Friday it killed a town councilor and wounded a former politician in recent weeks, according to a communique in a militant Basque newspaper.

The group also claimed five bombs aimed at businesses, including a Basque discotheque, since mid-August, according to the notice. The newspaper Gara, which ran the notice, is the traditional forum for ETA to claim responsibility for attacks.

The group said it killed town councilor Manuel Indiano, a member of the ruling Popular Party in the small Basque town of Zumarraga. Indiano, 29, was shot seven times in the chest Aug. 29 in his candy shop.

ETA has now admitted to 12 of the 13 killings blamed on the group since it called off its 14-month cease-fire last December.

The notice didn’t mention the shooting Thursday of a Popular Party town councilor on the outskirts of Barcelona. Jose Luis Ruiz Casado, 42, was shot behind the left ear as he walked to his car in the coastal town, and shot again in the head as he fell to the sidewalk.

But the communique said ETA wounded Jose Ramon Recalde, 68, a former Socialist politician who was shot in the face last week in the Basque city of San Sebastian.

It said ETA also carried out four bomb attacks on Basque businesses in August. The bombs, which caused damage but no injuries, were in retribution for ``refusing to pay the Basque liberation tax,″ the note said.

The liberation tax is a euphemism for extortion of private businesses, police say.

ETA also said it bombed a Basque discotheque on Sept. 10 to fight drug trafficking. It accused the Txitxarro disco in Deba, near San Sebastian, of selling drugs. Nobody was in the disco.

Police said the real target was the disco owner, Narciso Korta. Korta’s brother, a Basque businessmen, was killed in a car bomb in August. ETA also claimed responsibility for that killing.

ETA has claimed responsibility for the killing of some 800 people since 1968 when it began its war for independence of the Basque region of northern Spain.

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