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Sunday, September 17, 2006

Ethiopia says three rebels blow themselves up

ADDIS ABABA, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Three rebels from the southern Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) blew themselves up the Ethiopian capital with Eritrean-made explosives they were planning to use for an attack, police said on Saturday.

Two died instantly and one succumbed later in hospital after the device blew up in their hands on Friday, police said.

"The explosive went off as a result of a faulty timing device built by Eritrea," a statement added.

Police said "many others" suspected of involvement in planning a major attack were also arrested.

The explosive material was identical to that used in a series of recent blasts in the capital Addis Ababa and elsewhere round Ethiopia, police said. The government has blamed rebel movements with backing from its neighbour and foe Eritrea.

Eritrea denies involvement, saying Prime Minister Meles Zenawi's government is fabricating threats to justify repression of its own people and belligerence towards Asmara.

The OLF is fighting for independence for the Oromo region, alleging discrimination against Ethiopia's largest ethnic group. Its representatives could not be immediately reached.
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