ADDIS ABABA, 21 March (IRIN) - An
armed Eritrean Islamic group has claimed responsibility for a mine blast
last month which killed five Eritrean militia, including a colonel, in
the buffer zone separating Eritrea and Ethiopia.
The opposition Eritrean Islamic Jihad Movement (EIJM) claimed on the Internet that the "Mujahedin" were behind the landmine ambush.
"The ambush targeted a military vehicle with four members of the military and one driver," it said on the www.eijm.org website.
"On 14 February 2003, an ambush was laid by the Mujahedin in a location called Hidimi, east of the town of Om Hajer," it added.
The UN's Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) had highlighted the February mine incident, blaming it on "dissident groups" opposed to the Eritrean authorities.
In a press briefing a week after the blast, UNMEE said the Eritrean authorities had informed it of the incident "a few days" afterwards. It also reported that a colonel was among the victims. UNMEE added that the mine was probably newly-laid as the road had been cleared several times.
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