Hardline Basque separatists have taken control of the guerrilla group ETA, replacing leaders who brokered a ceasefire that collapsed late last year, a Spanish newspaper reported yesterday. Three representatives of ETA's military command, who opposed the truce, are now in charge of the group after replacing members of ETA's political section, conservative daily ABC said. Quoting unnamed Interior Ministry sources, ABC said the change of leadership occurred after ETA announced it was ending its ceasefire in late November. So far this year, ETA has claimed responsibility for two fatal car bomb attacks that killed three people and has been blamed for another bombing that injured seven. ETA's three, decade fight for an independent Basque state in northern Spain and southern France has claimed around 800 lives. Spain's recently re-elected centre-right government has warned it expects further attacks. The government has ruled out any discussion of ETA's key demand of self-determination. The ministry sources told ABC the change in ETA's command was crucial because one of the outgoing leaders Miguel Albizu was a supporter of the 14-month ceasefire, the longest in the group's history.


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