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World IN BRIEF : SPAIN

Militant Separatist Slain in Shootout

September 25, 1997|From Times Wire Reports

The chief of the deadliest hit team of the Basque separatist group ETA and another man died in what authorities described as a shootout with police in the northern city of Bilbao. The killing of Salvador Gaztelumendi Gil and police raids immediately afterward have shattered the "nucleus" of the Vizcaya Commando, Interior Minister Jaime Mayor Oreja said. Hours after the shootout, police found a cache of weapons and arrested 12 people. ETA, or Basque Homeland and Freedom, rebels have killed hundreds since they began fighting for independence for the Basque region in 1968.

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