Eritrea, Ethiopia Trade Accusations of Border Attacks

Eritrea, Ethiopia Trade Accusations of Border Attacks

Residents on the border of Eritrea and Ethiopia reported hearing sounds of heavy fighting Monday, as each country accused the other of launching an attack.

The fighting took place in the area of Tsorona, an Eritrean-controlled town that was a flashpoint during the two countries’ border war between 1998 and 2000.

Ethiopian Information Minister Getachew Reda said Eritrea launched “what appears to be a serious attack.” He told VOA’s Horn of Africa service that Ethiopian forces counterattacked and “neutralized the threat emenating from the other side of the border.”

French news agency AFP quotes the minister as saying “there were significant casualties on both sides, but more on the Eritrean side.”

In a statement earlier, Eritrea’s Ministry of Information accused Ethiopia of unleashing an attack on what it called the Tsorona Central Front. “The purpose and ramifications of this attack are not clear,” said the statement.

Speaking to VOA, farmers on the Ethiopian side of the border said they heard gunfire early Sunday morning followed by the sounds of shelling and other heavy weaponry later in the day. They said gunfire continued into Monday.

The two countries’ border war, which ended in December 2000, killed an estimated 70,000 people. Relations between the two neighbors remain tense to this day.


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