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|Sudan accuses Ethiopian troops of cross-border raid on police camp that killed|
Sudan accuses Ethiopian troops of cross-border raid on police camp that killed 1 officer
Released : Tuesday, July 08, 2008 9:11 AM
KHARTOUM, Sudan-Sudan on Tuesday accused Ethiopian troops of launching a cross-border raid on a police camp that killed one officer and wounded several other people.
Several civilians and the base's commander were among an unspecified number of people wounded in Monday's attack on the Jebal Hantoub camp, about 10 miles (18 kilometers) from the countries' shared border, said Sudanese army spokesman Brig. Osman al-Aghbash.
Farmers on both sides of the border have occasionally clashed in land disputes, and the police force is stationed there under an agreement between the two countries to protect farmers in the area, al-Aghbash said.
The spokesman denounced the attack. He said the Ethiopian army unit withdrew immediately after the raid.
In Ethiopia, an adviser to Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said he was unaware of any such incident.
"Our army is not involved," Bereket Simon told the Associated Press.
"We have good relations with Sudan. But it's a very long border and sometimes you find some minor problems here and there. Sometimes there are minor, minor skirmishes between militias. But as far as I know, there is no military involvement."
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Associated Press Worldstream
Sudan says Ethiopia attacked military base
Published: July 08, 2008, 18:48
Khartoum: Sudan's army accused Ethiopian troops on Tuesday of attacking a military camp in northern Sudan and killing about 19 people.
A senior Ethiopian official played down the allegation, saying any "minor incident" on the border could be easily resolved.
Sudan's military spokesman said the attack took place early on Monday in the Jabel Hantub area of Sennar state.
"They hit a camp belonging to the central reserve police and they killed about 19 people," the Sudanese army spokesman said. He did not know how many people were injured.
The central reserve police are a heavily armed military unit and are often deployed along border areas or to defend the capital Khartoum.
"This was an attack and we don't know the reason -- we have no problem with Ethiopia and there are no border disputes or tribal clashes in that area," the army spokesman said.
Bereket Simon, special adviser to Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, told Reuters in Addis Ababa the problem was that the long frontier was not properly demarcated.
"Sometimes locals from both sides trespass and minor incidents do happen," he said, denying troops were involved.
"If there was a minor incident involving local inhabitants ... Ethiopia is confident both governments will solve the problem in accordance with the prevailing peaceful norms we maintain."
Sudan signed a north-south peace deal in 2005 which ended Africa's longest civil war and also improved relations with its east African neighbours.
One Sudanese security source and another government official said the attack may have been because Sudan had given refuge a to local Ethiopian officials few weeks earlier and had refused to hand them over to Addis Ababa.
It was not clear why the officials sought refuge in Sudan. Ethiopia is fighting rebels from the Oromo region which borders Sudan and who want greater autonomy for their areas.
The Sudan army spokesman said a joint Ethiopian-Sudanese committee had been formed to investigate the attack.
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