By Tesfa-Alem Tekle
May 12, 2016 (ADDIS ABABA) — Ethiopia authorities said Thursday that they foiled what they described as a “plot” by Eritrean mercenaries to stage a terror attack in the country.
- The National Intelligence and Security Service and Federal counter-terrorism taskforce claimed the armed Eritrea’s mercenaries were caught by Ethiopian security forces in the country’s southern regional state.
The heavy armed mercenaries were captured in a jungle at the southern tip of the country and were conspiring to launch a terrorist attack.
According to the task force, they were captured in a surprise military operation carried out by security forces on 6 May 2016.
Officials told Sudan Tribune that the Ethiopian intelligence agency had the information over the planned attack before the armed mercenaries depart from Eritrea.
According to the officials security forces captured most of the terrorists with their armaments however refuse to disclose on their total number.
Unspecified number of the armed group who tried to escape were also killed.
The terrorists whose travel documents shows to have been prepared by the Eritrean regime traversed Ethiopian borders from Moyale in neighbouring Kenya.
“The terrorists first travelled to Uganda, and they made their way to Kenya before they arrived at their final destination, South Ethiopia”
The captured militants were allegedly trained and armed by the regime in Asmara.
Ethiopia repeatedly accuses the Red Sea nation of deploying terrorists to destabilise nation, an allegation Eritrea denies.
Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993 after a 30-year guerrilla war however the two neighbours fought a war during 1998-2000 over territorial disputes which killed over 70,000 people.
As their border dispute never settled the two countries remain at No war – No peace situation.
Both countries routinely trade accusations of arming and supporting one the others’ rebel group.
Ethiopia has often foiled Eritrea-backed attacks and have captured a number of terrorist groups while trying to sneak into the country
At a press conference with local journalists, Communication minister Getachew Reda today hinted that the Ethiopian government will consider actions to stop these unfolding Eritrean provocations.
Previously, Ethiopian forces have penetrated deep into Eritrean territories and attacked several military bases including those bases used by militants who are given sanctuary by Eritrea to carry out attacks against Ethiopian targets.