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Ethiopia’s Oganden rebels claim attacks against regular troops

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Oct 26, 2005 (NAIROBI) — Battles between separatist rebel Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) and Ethiopian soldiers regularly occur in all regions of Ogaden in south-eastern Ethiopia, the pro ONLF Radio Freedom reported.

On 1 October, the ONLF rebels carried a nocturnal attack on Hamarro town, in the district of Nogbed, killing four colonial soldiers and wounding five others. On the same date, they carried out a nocturnal attack on regular soldiers based in Fik town.

The radio said three Ethiopian soldiers were killed and two others were wounded in the attack.

Another attack occurred on 2 October, at night in Gasan-gas town, in the district of Nogbed, killing five Ethiopian soldiers and wounding six others. The rebel radio mentioned another attack on the same date against Ethiopian army based at a place between Kudunbur and Tondihley in the district of Kebri Dehar.

According to the same source, on 19 October, a battle broke out at a place between Kudunbur and Tondihley in the district of Kebri Dehar. Eleven soldiers were killed and 13 others were wounded in the fighting.

The rebel ONLF claims to represent ethnic Somalis in Ethiopia, and makes occasional hit-and-run attacks against government troops in Ogaden.

The Ogaden National Liberation Front - that has fought to make the region an independent state for the Somali ethnic majority there - offered on July 19, 2005 to open peace talks with the Ethiopian government in an effort to end a low-level conflict, The ONAF wants the talks to be held in a neutral country, with the help of an international mediator.

(ST)

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