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Thursday, May 05, 2005

Eritrean Militiaman Shot on Tense Ethiopian Border

Unidentified gunmen shot dead an Eritrean militiaman close to the border with Ethiopia, a U.N. spokeswoman said on Thursday, the latest in a spate of violent incidents near the tense frontier.

Witnesses said several armed men, dressed in green fatigues, crossed from Ethiopia and shot the militiaman in the foot, thigh and head, said Musi Khumalo of the U.N. peacekeeping force.

Relations between the neighbours who fought a 1998-2000 border war have worsened in recent months, and fresh violence has fuelled fears that war could break out again.

"We can confirm that an incident took place on the 26th April and this happened in the Fawlina area...One person was killed," Khumalo, spokeswoman for the U.N. Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE), told a news conference.

U.N. soldiers found the body of the Eritrean militiaman close to the Mereb River Bridge, roughly half way along the 1,000 km (620 mile) border between the Horn of Africa nations.

Ethiopia denied any involvement in the incident, she added.

Reuters AlertNet

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