Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Ethiopia admits Somali forays
ADDIS ABABA, 25 FEB 2003(BBC)--Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has admitted to the BBC he has occasionally sent troops into neighbouring Somalia to attack members of a militant Islamist group, al-Ittihad. Mr Meles said al-Ittihad was linked to al-Qaeda and they had tonnes of captured documents that proved the link to al-Qaeda.

"They have engaged in terrorist activities in our country," he told the Focus on Africa programme. He also said that several Afghan Arabs had been killed during an Ethiopian attack on an al-Ittihad training camp.

Mr Meles insisted that he wanted to see a stable and united Somalia and said "in the end it is for Somalis to decide".
But he said they had lists of members of al-Ittihad inside Somalia's parliament and the Transitional National Government (TNG).

TNG President Abdulkassim Salat Hassan has consistently denied Ethiopian claims that his government has linked to Islamic extremist groups.

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