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Ethiopia says Addis explosives came from Eritrea

By Staff
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ADDIS ABABA, Mar 12 (Reuters) Ethiopia said today explosives used in a series of attacks in Addis Ababa last week were smuggled from Eritrea and Eritrean-backed ''terrorists'' were behind the blasts.

''Investigation on types and makes of explosives used in recent terrorist attempts confirmed that most of the explosions were carried out using a grenade known as C-4'', said a police statement reported by state-run Ethiopian News Agency.

''Such type of grenades cannot be possessed by individuals and there are indisputable evidences that the grenades were smuggled into the country from Eritrea,'' it added.

Three explosions rocked Addis Ababa on Tuesday, wounding four people. There was no clear indication who was behind the attacks, which were similar to explosions in January that targeted public buildings and hotels in the Ethiopian capital.

The police statement said its investigation had shown ''terrorists backed by Sha'abea (the Eritrean government) such as the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and other traitors were behind the terrorist plots perpetrated in the city during recent days''.

The OLF is an opposition group fighting for independence in southwestern Ethiopia.

The statement said the blasts were intended to cause fear and cripple Ethiopia's development and democratisation process.

The first explosion on Tuesday hit the Lalibella restaurant in front of the national stadium, badly damaging the structure.

The second destroyed a bookshop near the Mercato open-air market.

A third blast occurred outside the gate of a hotel and tourism training centre, south of the stadium.

Tension between Ethiopia and Eritrea has been high since the end of a 1998-2000 war, which cost 70,000 lives, because the border between the Horn of Africa neighbours has not been fully demarcated.

REUTERS CH BS1701

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