Eritrea rebels say killed 17 soldiers in raid
Addis Ababa, December 2 (WIC) - Two Eritrean rebel groups said on Thursday they had killed 17 government soldiers in a dawn raid on a military base in the south of the Red Sea state.
The Eritrean Salvation Front (ESF) and the Red Sea Afar Democratic Organisation (RSADO), said their fighters launched the attack in Enda Haji near the town of Tsorono on the border with Ethiopia.
The rebels also said they had taken two prisoners.
"We held the area until 11 a.m. before we returned back to our positions," RSADO spokesman Yasin Mohamed told Reuters.
"Our fighters captured two soldiers, they are in our possession now. The army suffered 17 losses and five injured."
Yasin said the rebels also suffered casualties in the attack but he gave no further details.
The two rebel groups said in October early-morning attacks in southern Eritrea's Kermed, Adi Metras, Ingra Abo, Adi Tela'a and Meshal Akran killed 12 soldiers and wounded 15.
The claims are impossible to verify because there is no independent media in secretive Eritrea and it rarely grants visas to foreign journalists.
The Eritrean government has in recent months come under growing pressure from its neighbours who see it as a destabilising influence.
Kenya has accused it of flying in weapons for al Shabaab, an insurgent group linked to al Qaeda that has been fighting the Western-backed Somali government since 2007, and which is now also battling Kenyan forces.
Eritrea on Wednesday said the war in Somalia could only be solved through talks and that military action would fail. (Reuters)
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