June 25, 2014 / 6:02 PM / 5 years ago

Corsica's main separatist group says to lay down arms

AJACCIO France (Reuters) - Corsica’s most active underground nationalist group said on Wednesday that they were laying down their weapons, nearly 40 years after their campaign began.

There have been more than 10,000 attacks on the Mediterranean island since the National Front for the Liberation of Corsica (FLNC) was set up in 1976. About half the attacks have been claimed by either the FLNC or rival groups.

Corsica has long been dogged by bloodshed linked to demands for independence from France, as well as feuding criminal gangs.

Some 40 murders have been linked one way or another to the FLNC, whether attacks on police or government officials, or infighting among rival gangs.

“Without prior notification and without ambiguity, our organisation has unilaterally decided to launch a demilitarisation process and a progressive exit from clandestine activities,” the FLNC said in a statement.

A number of FLNC members split in 2012 to create another separatist group.

Reporting by Roger Nicoli and Gerard Bon; Writing by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Ruth Pitchford

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