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Ethiopian troops attack Eritrea to retaliate for rebel strikes
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No details about the military operations or any damage or casualties were immediately released.
The “Eritrea government has continued launching attacks at Ethiopia through its proxy groups. The attacks had continued. And the recent attacks against European tourists is one of the reasons for the retaliation,” Mr. Shimeles said.
Militants attacked European tourists from five nations traveling in Ethiopia’s arid north in January. Five tourists were killed and two were kidnapped. The two kidnapped German tourists have since been released.
The attacks Thursday by Ethiopian forces took place about 10 miles inside Eritrea’s territory in areas called Gelakalay and Gimbina, Mr. Shimeles said. The Ethiopian forces have returned to Ethiopia, he said.
“Today’s measures do not constitute a direct military confrontation between the two countries. The Ethiopian defense force has entered into Eritrea and launched a successful attack against military posts that have been used to organize, finance and train the subversive groups,” Mr. Shimeles said.
Eritrea’s ambassador to the Addis Ababa-based African Union, Girma Asmerom, didn’t immediately respond to phone calls seeking comment.
The border war between the two countries killed about 80,000 people. Recent signs have pointed to growing tension in the region.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi told the country’s parliament in April that his government would actively support Eritrean opposition groups to help topple that country’s regime.
Eritrea doesn’t receive foreign aid and is sanctioned by the U.N. because of human rights violations. U.N. reports have indicated that Eritrea has supported Somalia’s top militant group, the al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab. Eritrea has denied those accusations.
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