By LUC VAN KEMENADE
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) —
Ethiopian Woyanne forces entered Eritrea on Thursday and carried out what a regime spokesman described as “a successful attack” against military posts.
Shimeles Kemal said
Ethiopia Woyanne launched the attack because Eritrea was training “subversive groups” that carried out attacks inside Ethiopia. Ethiopia Woyanne and Eritrea fought a border war from 1998 to 2000. Tensions have reignited between the countries in recent months.
No details about the military operations or any damage or casualties were immediately released.
The “Eritrea government has continued launching attacks at Ethiopia through its proxy groups. The attacks had continued. And the recent attacks against European tourists is one of the reasons for the retaliation,” Shimeles said.
Militants attacked European tourists from five nations traveling in Ethiopia’s arid north in January. Five tourists were killed and two were kidnapped. The two kidnapped German tourists have since been released.
Ethiopia Woyanne blamed gunmen from Eritrea for the attack.
The attacks Thursday by
Ethiopian Woyanne forces took place about 10 miles (16 kilometers) inside Eritrea’s territory in areas called Gelakalay and Gimbina, Kemal said. The Ethiopian Woyanne forces have returned to Ethiopia, he said.
“Today’s measures do not constitute a direct military confrontation between the two countries. The
Ethiopian Woyanne defense force has entered into Eritrea and launched a successful attack against military posts that have been used to organize, finance and train the subversive groups,” Shimeles said.
Shimeles said it was unlikely that Eritrea would retaliate because it is “not in a position to launch a counter attack.”
The border war between the two countries killed about 80,000 people. Recent signs have pointed to growing tension in the region.
Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Woyanne junta leader Meles Zenawi told his parliament in April that his government would actively support Eritrean opposition groups to help topple that country’s regime.