UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
ETHIOPIA: Gov't blames rebel OLF for bomb blast
ADDIS ABABA, 29 September 2003 (IRIN) - The Ethiopian authorities have blamed the rebel Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) for a bomb attack on a passenger train which killed two people last week.
“We believe the OLF were behind this attack,” government spokesman Zemedkun Tekle told IRIN on Monday. “It is still under investigation but this kind of attack has been seen before."
Two people were killed and nine injured after the bomb exploded on Friday lunchtime as the train was nearing the town of Adiquala, about 190 km from the Djibouti border.
“We have no hesitation in confirming this was committed by the OLF," Zemedkun said, adding that the group was "trying to destabilise the region".
In June 2002, the OLF - which is fighting for greater autonomy in the Oromo region - claimed responsibility for a similar bombing along the same rail line which damaged a terminal building and one train carriage.
Hassan Shauffa, the deputy commissioner of the federal police, said investigators were at the scene and searching for clues.
“An investigation team has gone to Dire Dawa,” he said. “What happened is quite clear. Some minor explosive was put in a bag and placed on the train.”
The blast occurred as millions in the country prepared to celebrate one of the holiest events in Ethiopia’s religious calendar. The Meskel festival commemorates the finding of the True Cross on which Jesus was crucified.
The bomb had been planted under the seat in a second-class carriage of the passenger train which was travelling from Djibouti.
Themes: (IRIN) Conflict
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