Ethiopia said on Friday its army killed 32 armed men sent by former foe Eritrea to raise havoc before Ethiopia's May elections, a charge Eritrea denied saying its policy was to stay out of other countries' affairs.
There was no independent word available on the motives and identity of the 32 dead, nor of the 33 other people an Ethiopian security official said were captured in the clashes on Monday.
Eritrea and Ethiopia fought a 1998-2000 border war that killed 70,000. An independent commission awarded Eritrea a disputed border town, but Ethiopia has only accepted the ruling in principle and the frontier has yet to be demarcated.
In recent months rhetoric over the border situation has been heating up and the United Nations said Ethiopia had moved troops closer to the U.N.-patrolled security zone separating the two.