ADDIS ABABA, Aug 15 (Reuters) – Ethiopian security forces have foiled an attempt by Eritrean-sponsored insurgents to assassinate officials and destroy public institutions, the state-run Ethiopian News Agency reported on Wednesday.
The two Horn of Africa nations have been at loggerheads since a 1998-2000 border war that killed 70,000 people. Both governments routinely accuse each other of sponsoring dissidents in each others’ countries.
"This latest attempt of terrorism was found to be an orchestration of the rogue government in Asmara, which handed down the mission to the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF)," the report said.
The OLF is an armed group fighting for greater autonomy in the region of Ethiopia inhabited by ethnic Oromo.
Eritrean Information Minister Ali Abdu said Asmara would not respond to the accusations from Eritrea’s arch-enemy.
"I do not want to make a comment on everyday stupid and ridiculous statements from that regime," he told Reuters.
Security forces arrested the coordinators and many of those sent to carry out the attacks, the agency said, without giving numbers.
Nine explosive devices, 12 fuses and a Kalashnikov rifle were confiscated, it said, adding that people should be vigilant against attacks aimed at disrupting forthcoming millennium celebrations.
Ethiopians will mark the start of a new millennium on Sept. 11. The country follows its own Orthodox calendar that is almost eight years behind that of the West.