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EXPLOSIVES CACHE LINKED TO BASQUES

Police said Friday that they had discovered about 2,200 pounds of explosives belonging to suspected Basque terrorists in an overnight raid in this southwestern French city.

The explosives contained sodium chlorate and were hidden in a garage near the police station in central Pau, police said. A special anti-terrorist group was assigned to handle the investigation.

Security has been stepped up in the French Basque region following the recent announcement by the Spanish Basque separatist organization ETA that it was ending its 14-month cease-fire.

French authorities said they feared renewed terrorist attacks on French territory. The French Basque region has traditionally been a safe haven for militant Spanish Basques.

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