Tuesday, March 28, 2006

BOMB ATTACKS IN ADDIS ABABA!


Addis Ababa hit by fatal blasts.

The minibus was full at the time of the blast, One person has been killed and at least 14 injured in five bomb attacks in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. The most serious blast destroyed the rear of a minibus in the south of the city, killing one and injuring three. Explosions at a small cafe, a guard shack, an abattoir and a residential home followed in what is the latest in a string of attacks to hit the city. The government has in the past blamed the opposition and separatists for the attacks, and suspects Eritrean backing.

"The explosions which caused loss of life and destruction of property are aimed at disrupting the peaceful lives of citizens," a police statement read out on television said. The 11-seater bus was attacked just south of the city's central Meskel Square on Monday morning, police spokesman Demsach Hailu told the AFP news agency. "I was sitting in the back of the bus. It was full. I was on my way to work when suddenly it blew up," Mohamed Rachid, 30, who escaped with a broken nose and leg burns, said.

A government-owned abattoir became the next target, although the blast caused no casualties or damage, Mr Demsach said. At least 10 people were injured in the attack on the cafe, while a fourth blast tore the tin roof off a guard's shack in the busy Mercato trading district and injured a street seller, Reuters news agency reported. An explosion also went off outside a house in a residential suburb but there were no reports of injuries.There have been no immediate claims of responsibility.

Tensions have been running high in the capital since 80 people were killed in violence following last May's disputed general election. A number of public buildings and hotels in Addis Ababa were damaged by explosive devices in January. Earlier this month, four people were injured in three small explosions in the city. A restaurant, crowded market area and tourism training centre were hit. The government accused Eritrea of supplying the grenades to the "terrorists", a charge denied by Eritrea. It has also blamed the attacks on the main opposition coalition, as well as separatists from the southern Oromo region.
BBC NEWS REPORT.

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