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Ethiopian army kills 111 insurgents - official

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June 26, 2006 (ADDIS ABABA) — Ethiopia announced today that 111 rebels have been killed in Amhara regional state; accusing them of realizing the Eritrean government objectives.

“Anti-peace elements who have been active in Northern Gonder in a bid to realize shabiyyah’s objectives — referring to Eritrean government — have been destroyed recently by the joint activities of the defence forces and security officers”, says Ministry of National Defence.

According to the ministry’s public relations officer and commander of the western command, Col Meley Amare, these rebels, who started their operation after “coming from Eritrea, were destroyed around” Quara, Armacheho, Alai, Southern Metema and other areas.

In the operation which was coordinated by the defence force, zonal security forces, 111 rebel forces have been killed, 18 injured and 86 others captured, while 21 people gave themselves up to government forces.

Nine heavy machine-guns, 61 assault rifles, four RPG (Rocket Propelled Guns), seven anti-tank weapon with ammunition and 76 hand grenades have also been captured, the Ethiopian official stated.

Among those killed rebels were: Senior security agents such as Abay Yohanes, Atalel Asefa, Mulaw Alemu, Dires Teshager, Tesfaye Amare, Awoke Belete and Yibeltal Tsegaye.

Ethiopia accuses Eritrea regularly of backing insurgents with the goal of destabilizing his country.

Eritrea and Ethiopia fought a border war from 1998 to 2000 that killed 70,000 people. The countries signed a peace deal in which they agreed to let an independent commission mark the border. But Ethiopia has refused to accept the commission’s ruling, issued in 2002.

(ST)

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