Home | Press Releases    Tuesday 3 July 2007

Ogaden rebels say 43 Ethiopian soldiers killed in ambush attack

Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF)

O.N.L.F Military Communique’

3 July 2007 — Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) forces executed an well coordinated military operation targeting a TPLF regime armed convoy in an area called Aleen outside of the town of Shilaabo in eastern Ogaden on 2nd July 2007. The bodies of 43 TPLF regime troops were counted on the battlefield after the operation. Five ONLF fighters were lost and eight others wounded. The surprise attack ambushed a convoy consisting of over twenty armed vehicles and trucks carrying fuel, armaments and troop reinforcements to TPLF regime forces based in Shilaabo and other parts of eastern Ogaden.

The battle lasted for less than an hour resulting in the capture of 35 TPLF regime troops as well as a wide range of weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition. Nine of the captured troops have defected from the army indicating they would take up arms against the TPLF regime back in their native Tigray province. The remaining prisoners have all requested to join the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) or the Sidama Liberation Front (SLF) and are now being transferred to the OLF & SLF military command.

Battlefield engagements between ONLF forces and TPLF regime troops over the last three weeks have resulted in a total of 247 TPLF regime troops killed and a similar number wounded. A total of 58 TPLF troops have been captured with most defecting from the army. ONLF casualties over the same period include 38 fighters lost with 46 wounded. Some of the wounded have returned to active duty after receiving medical attention. Nearly all TPLF regime units in Ogaden which took part in the failed offensive announced by Melez Zenawi last month have now retreated to their barracks in major towns such as Jijiga, Godey, Qabri-Dahar and Degah Buur after encountering stiff resistance from our forces. Having failed in their military offensive against the ONLF, TPLF troops continue to perpetrate acts of violence against our civilian population including extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests, torture, rape and town square beatings of community leaders.