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An international commission of mediators says Basque group ETA has sealed small arms cache

  • db7415c155be76074c0f6a706700bc07.jpg

    Ram Manikkalingam, a member of the commission overseeing the Basque group ETA's ceasefire, announced in 2011, right, shows a document from ETA after the armed group announced a first step in disarmament, putting some weapons and explosives out of use, in Bilbao northern Spain, Friday, Feb. 21, 2014. ETA is blamed for killing some 830 people between the late 1960s in bombings and its 2011 cease-fire in a campaign for a Basque homeland in northern Spain and southwest France. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos) (The Associated Press)

  • d4002b0155c577074c0f6a706700a810.jpg

    Ram Manikkalingam, a member of the commission overseeing the Basque group ETA's ceasefire, announced in 2011, center, leaves the press room after showing a document from ETA after the armed group announced a first step in disarmament, putting some weapons and explosives out of use, in Bilbao northern Spain, Friday, Feb. 21, 2014. ETA is blamed for killing some 830 people between the late 1960s in bombings and its 2011 cease-fire in a campaign for a Basque homeland in northern Spain and southwest France. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos) (The Associated Press)

  • c3cb708855c677074c0f6a706700e956.jpg

    Ram Manikkalingam, a member of the commission overseeing the Basque group ETA's ceasefire, announced in 2011, third right, shows a document from ETA after the armed group announced a first step in disarmament, putting some weapons and explosives out of use, in Bilbao northern Spain, Friday, Feb. 21, 2014. ETA is blamed for killing some 830 people between the late 1960s in bombings and its 2011 cease-fire in a campaign for a Basque homeland in northern Spain and southwest France. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos) (The Associated Press)

  • fd8f57d855c176074c0f6a7067006532.jpg

    Ram Manikkalingam, a member of the commission overseeing the Basque group ETA's ceasefire, announced in 2011, right, shows a document from ETA after the armed group announced the first step in disarmament, putting some weapons and explosives out of use, in Bilbao northern Spain, Friday, Feb. 21, 2014. ETA is blamed for killing some 830 people between the late 1960s in bombings and its 2011 cease-fire in a campaign for a Basque homeland in northern Spain and southwest France. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos) (The Associated Press)

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    FILE - In this file image made from video provided on Oct. 20, 2011, masked members of the Basque militant group ETA hold up their fists in unison following a news conference at an unknown location. A Commission overseeing the Basque group ETA's cease fire has verified on Friday Feb. 21, 2014 that ETA has sealed and put beyond operational use a specified quantity of arms, ammunition and explosives. (AP Photo/Gara via AP video, File) (The Associated Press)

International mediators say the armed Basque separatist group ETA has placed a small quantity of guns and explosives out of use in what is seen as a first step toward an unconditional total disarmament.

Ram Manikkalingam, spokesman for the commission of mediators overseeing the Basque group's 2011 ceasefire told reporters Friday in the northern city of Bilbao that ETA had sealed the small arsenal and placed it "out of operational use."

Manikkalingam said it was "a necessary step prior to a complete disarmament."

ETA is blamed for killing some 830 people between the late 1960s and its cease-fire in 2011 in a campaign for a Basque homeland in northern Spain and southwestern France.

The Spanish government, which does not recognize the commission, insists that the group must disarm and disband.