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Eritrean rebels attack government facility in Asmara

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By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

March 15, 2015 (ADDIS ABABA) – An Eritrean opposition group has reportedly raided a government owned garage facility in the capital Asmara.

Eritrean National Salvation Front (ENSF) in a statement said its armed wing has carried out the attack on Wednesday at the garage located in Qohawta neighbourhood in retaliation to the regime’s oppression against citizens including deny economic rights of the people.

The statement alleged leaders of the country are looting national resources and the regime has intensified repression against civilians living in Asmara particularly at Arbaate Asmera and Tselot neighbourhoods and recently to the people of Adi Keih town.

The statement didn’t disclose if there were causalities from government side following the attack but it admitted one of its fighters have sustained light wounds.

It said its fighters have retreated to their positions safely after destroying a number trucks and other government owned machineries.

The group said necessary preparations were made “to shift its activities and place of operation to confront the regime inside Eritrea.”

The statement said the attacks never intended to target the “helpless” Eritrean army but the regime and anyone who supports it.

Sudan Tribune couldn’t independently verify the group’s attack claims.

In the past, Asmara has repeatedly dismissed such attack claims by rebels operating in neighbouring Ethiopia.

The Eritrean opposition further said the attack was also in response to Eritrean leaders’ arranged deals with foreign companies aimed to exploit the county’s natural resources.

The attacked garage, had been serving to store, service and repair heavy trucks owned by the government’s land transport companies.

The trucks, according to the statement, mainly work at Bisha Gold-copper mine project which is owned by the Eritrean government and the Canadian Nevsun Resources.

The $350 million mine project is the largest foreign investment in Eritrea since the east African nation gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993.

ENSF called on the Eritrean Army to defend the people and protect the rich national resources of the country by standing up against President Issaias Afeworki led regime in Asmara.

The group had in the past carried out cross-border attacks against Asmara regime jointly with other Eritrean rebel groups based in Ethiopia.

The secretive red sea nation is one of the world’s politically repressive countries.

International human right organizations particularly the Human Rights watch has dubbed the country as the North Korea of Africa.

(ST)

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