From: Biniam Tekle (email@example.com)
Date: Fri Feb 20 2009 - 11:37:12 EST
Ethiopian Rebels Say Clashes Kill 140 Militia, Government Troops Friday
February 20th, 2009 / 16h14 ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AFP)--Clashes have
broken out in the restive Ethiopian region of Ogaden, with rebels saying
Friday they have killed 140 government troops and allied militia fighters.
The Ethiopian government disputed the claims from the Ogaden National
Liberation Front, or ONLF, saying some 40 rebels were killed by local clan
"The casualty figures heavily favored our forces due to the nature of our
operations," the rebels said in a statement, adding that lost 29 fighters.
"In particular, surprise attacks and ambushing enemy military convoys."
Communications Minister Bereket Simon told AFP the insurgents "clashed with
some of the clan inside Ogaden and the clans have beaten them well."
The ONLF is fighting for the independence of ethnic Somalis in Ethiopia's
oil-rich Ogaden region. They say the local people have been marginalized by
Ethiopia's military launched an offensive against ONLF after they attacked a
Chinese-run oil venture in the Ogaden in 2007, killing 77 people, including
nine Chinese nationals.
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