Basque group announces it is dissolving

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BAYONNE, France (AP) — 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."

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