Fighting Reported on Eritrea-Ethiopia Border

 

Residents of a town on the Eritrea-Ethiopia border reported hearing sounds of heavy fighting Monday, as both countries accused each other of launching an attack.

The fighting appeared centered on the Eritrean town of Tsorona, which was a flashpoint during the two countries’ border war between 1998 and 2000.

Speaking to journalists, farmers on the Ethiopian side of the border said they heard gunfire early Sunday morning followed by the sounds of shelling and other heavy weaponry later in the day.  They said gunfire continued into Monday.

There were no immediate reports of casualties.

In a statement, Eritrea’s Ministry of Information accused Ethiopia’s government of unleashing an attack on what it called the Tsorona Central Front.  “The purpose and ramifications of this attack are not clear,” the statement said.

Monday, Ethiopian Information Minister Getachew Reda said that “Ethiopian forces had to respond to a provocation from Eritrea.”

The 32-month border war, which ended in December 2000, killed an estimated 70,000 people.  Relations between the two neighbors remain tense to this day.

 

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