Home | News    Friday 21 May 2010

Explosion in Ethiopia’s border town injures 13

May 20, 2010(MEKELLE, Ethiopia) – Two days away for Ethiopian polls to open, a bomb that blasted outside a bus station in Sheraro town, close to the frontier with Eritrea, has injured 13 passengers, local officials said on Thursday.

Ethiopia will hold general elections on Sunday May 23, the first national polls since the 2005 general election which was marred by violence which killed about 200 protesters.

"A bomb at a passenger bus 3 pm last night went off injuring 13 of the total 25 passengers onboard” Mustofa Seid, town’s police and security head said.
“Six passengers are seriously wounded," he added.

Reached by phone, Kidane-Mariam, a local Radio reporter from the spot told Sudan Tribune that the bomb was concealed in a sack of straw by one of the passengers and the police have identified the suspect.

"The bus just arrived at Sheraro from neighboring town of Shire and the bomb suddenly exploded while bus attendant was unloading passenger’s bags and belongings," he said.

Police has declined to comment on other details but said that it is under firm investigation.

It is not quite clear if passengers inside the bus were the prime targets or if attack was meant for a different target. Yet, there is nothing known if motives behind attack are related with election or if it has something to do with arch-foe Eritrea.

Ethiopian authorities have repeatedly accused Eritrean government of attempting to disrupt nation’s upcoming election, something Eritrea denies.
Last month Ethiopian officials blamed Asmara, which has a longer running border dispute with Ethiopia for a bomb attack at a border town of Adi-Daro which killed five people and injured many others.

Authorities have blamed Eritrea of organizing past attacks in the capital by arming the separatist Oromo Liberation Front and the Ogaden National Liberation Front, while Asmara has accused Ethiopia of supporting armed groups in its country.

Meles Zenawi, the Ethiopian prime minister, has accused some of the opposition candidates of having links with Eritrea and local armed groups allegedly supported by Asmara.

Last week, Meles zenawi has warned arch-foe Eritrea to refrain from what he said was a growing aggression by Asmara.

He then stressed that his army is militarily capable of smashing down any foreign invaders to safe guard country however he said that the Ethiopian government has preferred to pass to a number of hostilities by Eritrea.

"The Ethiopian government and our defense forces have refrained from retaliating to Eritrea’s repeated aggressions." Meles zenawi said adding "That is because we abide by international laws and due the determination we prioritize for peace."

"However, Eritrea or others shouldn’t draw a false conclusion to the over-patience we are tolerating," he said.

"But the aggressors, especially the Eritrean government must know that our patience does not mean that it doesn’t have a limit to break," he underscored.
With tensions still rising, the two neighbors currently remain in a no-war no-peace situation, after they went in to a bloody border war that claimed 70,000 people in 1998-2000.

A UN-backed boundary commission charged with demarcating the border handed the disputed town of Badme to Eritrea but Ethiopia has so far refused to implement the ruling.

(ST)