Home | News    Thursday 7 November 2013

Ethiopia accuses Eritrea, Al Shabaab of plotting attack

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By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

November 6, 2013 (ADDIS ABABA) – Ethiopia on Wednesday said that Somalia’s Islamist al-Shabaab, backed by arch-rival Eritrea, is planning to carry out attacks on its soil.

The National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) and the federal police said they have found credible evidence that the al Qaeda-linked al shabaab militant group is preparing to conduct terrorist attacks in the capital Addis Ababa and in other parts of the country.

According to officials, Ethiopia has put its security forces and police on high alert mainly in crowded areas, public facilities and on other places suspected to be targets for terror attacks.

Security is expected to be beefed up at border points.

The Al-Shabaab has in the past repeatedly vowed to carry out attacks against Ethiopia in retaliation to Addis Ababa’s military intervention in Somalia.

In mid October, suspected Al shabaab members in Addis Ababa tried to carry out terror attacks against Ethiopian fans who were gathered to watch World Cup qualifier against Nigeria.

However their bomb blew up while they were making it killing two of them. The victims were Somalia citizens. Police then took three suspects into to custody.

Speaking on the state-run Ethiopian television, government communication affairs Minister, Redwan Hussein, on Wednesday urged the public to cooperate with the police by reporting anything suspicious.

Ethiopian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Dina Mufti told reporters that Ethiopia has the competence to combat any terror acts.

Mufti said that Ethiopian Security forces have the capacity to thwart any attempts of attack by al Shabaab.

To crush al Shabaab, he said Ethiopia along with Kenya and Uganda troops are doing a joint military exercise to counter terrorism.

Addis Ababa has long been accusing Eritrea of backing Ethiopian rebels and the al-Qaida allied Somalia militants to foment instability in Ethiopia and in the region as a whole.

Asmara has repeatedly dismissed these allegations.

On Wednesday a suspected Eritrean spy who was allegedly spying on Ethiopia for the last two years disguised as a mad person was last week arrested in the northern Tigray regional capital of Mekelle, a police source told Sudan Tribune.

The source said the suspected spy, a woman, however, hanged herself while in jail using pieces of clothing.

(ST)

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