May 15, 2011 / 8:12 AM / 8 years ago

Gunmen kill UN worker in Ethiopia's Somali region

U.N. peacekeepers patrol a road in Kibati, about 25 km (16 miles) north of the provincial capital of Goma, October 28, 2008. REUTERS/Stringer

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Gunmen have killed a U.N. driver in Ethiopia’s Somali Region in an ambush that also injured another staff member, the World Food Programme said on Saturday.

The province, also known as Ogaden, is home to a low-key insurgency led by the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), which has fought for independence since 1984.

“Farhan Hamsa — a WFP driver — was killed in an ambush on 13 May by unknown assailants in the Somali Region of Ethiopia,” the U.N. agency said in a statement.

“One other WFP staff member was injured in the attack and two remain missing.”

The Horn of Africa nation signed a peace deal with one faction of the group last year, but has acknowledged skirmishes in the region with “other remnants” in 2010.

Ethiopian forces waged an offensive against the rebels in late 2007 after the ONLF staged a pre-dawn attack on a Chinese-run oil facility, killing 74 people. Analysts say the rebels have since been weakened, but are still capable of launching hit-and-run attacks.

Ethiopia says the Ogaden basin may contain gas reserves of 4 trillion cubic feet and major oil deposits.

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