Three dead in suspected terror blast in Ethiopia: police chief

September 28th, 2008 | by addis portal |

ADDIS ABABA (AFP) — At least three people were killed and some 20 injured Sunday in an explosion in Ethiopia’s eastern Somali province, which local authorities believe was a terrorist attack, the police chief said.

“We now have some 20 people injured in addition to the three dead ones,” Yusuf Mahmud Mussai, the police chief of the Somali province, told AFP by telephone.

“It definitely was a terrorist attack, a bomb was planted in the area,” he said, adding that so far one suspect has been detained.

The blast occurred near a hotel in Jijiga, Ethiopian federal police spokesman Demsash Hailu told AFP.

“I suspect it is a terrorist action because we have some problems in this area. But there is an investigation opened. We’ll look into the matter to confirm if it is a terrorist action or an accidental explosion,” Hailu said.

The Somali province includes the region of Ogaden, which has been hit by a series of attacks attributed to separatist rebels in recent years.

The Ethiopia military launched in May 2007 an operation against the Ogaden Nation Liberation Front (ONLF), which is seeking autonomy for the remote region bordering Somalia.

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