Eritrea accuses Ethiopia of attacking its territory

Mon Jun 13, 2016 1:22pm GMT

By Aaron Maasho

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Eritrea's government has accused Ethiopia of launching an attack on its territory, but the extent of the assault was still unclear and there was no immediate response from Ethiopia.

A resident on the Ethiopian side of the border reported hearing the sound of explosions on Sunday and saw Ethiopian troops moving in the area.

Eritrea, which won independence from Ethiopia in 1991, fought a bloody border war with its larger neighbour between 1998 and 2000. Tensions between the Horn of Africa nations persist.

"The TPLF regime has today, Sunday 12 June 2016, unleashed an attack against Eritrea on the Tsorona Central Front," the Information Ministry said in a statement around midnight.

TPLF refers to Ethiopia's Tigrayan People's Liberation Front, one of the four parties making up the ruling coalition.

Tsorona Central Front is region of military command around the town of Tsorona, south of Eritrea's capital Asmara and close to the border. The area saw intense fighting during the border war that killed about 70,000 people.

"The purpose and ramifications of this attack are not clear," the Eritrean statement said.

A resident in the Ethiopian town of Zalambessa, across the border from Tsorona, told Reuters by telephone that he had heard the sound of shelling on Sunday and into the night.   Continued...

Kidane Mihret church is seen in Eritrea's capital Asmara, February 19, 2016.  REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya
Powered by Reuters AlertNet. AlertNet provides news, images and insight from the world's disasters and conflicts and is brought to you by Reuters Foundation.