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US designates 2 Basque separatists as terrorists

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WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has designated two members of the Basque separatist group ETA as terrorists and is banning Americans from doing business with them.

The State Department says military leader Miguel de Garikoitz Aspiazu Rubina is detained in France on terrorism charges while a Spanish court has charged him with planning attacks. It says explosive expert Jose Ignacio Reta de Frutos is a fugitive who should be serving an eight-year sentence in Madrid.

A statement said the duo engaged in murder, bombing, fundraising and other support for ETA, threatening U.S. interests.

The designation freezes any assets they have in the U.S.

ETA has killed more than 825 people since the late 1960s in its campaign for an independent state. It has a cease-fire, but Spain’s government says it must disband.

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