The Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) said it killed 62 Ethiopian soldiers, wounded 20 and captured 18 in an attack on two government garrisons at Tuqa and Hidi-lola in the Borana region on Friday night. An OLF statement, received by IRIN, said its forces also captured weapons and ammunition. The statement added: “Two stores full of relief supplies intended to be distributed to the people in the surrounding areas, but was diverted to be used by the Tigrean army was captured and duly distributed to the civilian people.”
Meanwhile, the Kenyan authorities maintain that all is calm on the Kenyan side of the border, contrary to reports in the local press that Kenyan security forces engaged Ethiopian troops in fierce fighting. “There is no problem on the Kenyan side. No Ethiopian troops crossed over to Kenya and we are hiding nothing from anybody,” a senior police officer told IRIN. “The truth is, there was fighting in Ethiopia at Hidilola, Tuqa and Magado between 15 to 18 km away from the Kenyan border on Friday,” Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police David Munuhe said. After the clashes six OLF militiamen sought refuge inside Kenya at the village of Damballa Fanchana. The six failed to identify themselves, provoking a brief shoot-out with the Kenya police reserve in the area. Two of the policemen and two civilians were slightly injured, he added.
Ethiopian embassy spokesman Wondimu Asamnew told IRIN he could not confirm the incident or issue a statement because communication links with Addis Ababa were down. “I am sure the ministries concerned are working on the problem and soon we will have an official statement,” he said.
This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions