Corsican separatists call off truce

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The Independent Online
The largest terrorist separatist group in Corsica has abandoned an eight-month ceasefire, saying the Socialist-led French government has failed to "recognise the Corsican nation". The National Front for the Liberation of Corsica - Historic Wing suspended "military operations" in June to encourage the new government of Lionel Jospin to make concessions on education and use of the Corsican language.

At a press conference given by 20 masked men at a deserted house in the Corsican wilderness, the group said: "The left, in power for eight months, has given no tangible sign of willingness to abandon the grave errors of its predecessors." As a result, the group said, it intended to return to military action.

In practice, a spate of unclaimed terrorist attacks in recent weeks has led to speculation that the FLNC Historic Wing - which split from the Customary Wing in 1991 - had already returned to violence.

The announcement comes as the three separatist movements engaged in democratic activities on the island are more divided than ever. The groups, which scored a total of 13.6 per cent in the last regional election, have failed to agree a common programme and risk losing all their seats in the new regional assembly.