Ethiopia on heightened alert for attacks by Somali militants

(Reuters) - Ethiopia has put its police and security forces on heightened alert after receiving strong evidence that Somalia's Islamist al Shabaab group is planning attacks in the country, officials said on Tuesday. The move came

(Reuters) – Ethiopia has put its police and security forces on heightened alert after receiving strong evidence that Somalia’s Islamist al Shabaab group is planning attacks in the country, officials said on Tuesday.

The move came three weeks after officials said two Somali suicide bombers accidentally blew themselves up while preparing to kill football fans during Ethiopia’s World Cup qualifying match against Nigeria.

Al Shabaab has vowed to exact revenge on Ethiopia for sending troops to Somalia to fight the al Qaeda-linked militants, alongside African Union forces from Uganda, Burundi and Kenya.

“There is strong evidence that indicates Al Shabaab and terrorist groups backed by Eritrea are preparing to carry out attacks in Addis Ababa and other areas of the country soon,” the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) and the federal police said in a joint statement.

Addis Ababa often accuses the government in neighbouring Eritrea of supporting rebels, which Asmara staunchly denies.

The statement, read on state television, said security forces were already on heightened alert and called on the public to inform police if they encountered “suspicious” activity.

Hotel staff and private landlords should verify the identity of visitors, the statement said.

It urged soldiers to remain vigilant at checkpoints along the country’s borders.

In September, al Shabaab gunmen raided an upmarket shopping mall in Nairobi, killing at least 67 people in a four-day siege.

Ethiopia says it has thwarted several attacks over the past two years which it blamed on domestic rebel groups as well as Somali insurgents.

However, it has so far been spared the sorts of assaults seen in nearby countries – such as the Nairobi mall siege and an attack that killed 74 football fans in Uganda as they watched the 2010 World Cup final on television.

(Editing by Barry Moody)

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9 COMMENTS
  • Yerhiwo November 6, 2013

    Ethiopia why don’t you clean Dictator Isaias Afwerki who trains Al-Shabab, DEMHIT, KINGIT, ONLF and the OLF.

    It won’t take you even one day to capture the dictator Isaias Afwerki who happen to be from Tembien. No Eritrean will defend this criminal!!

  • Kabbire November 6, 2013

    (Reuters) – Four people were killed when a bomb blast tore through a minibus in western Ethiopia late on Tuesday, at about the same time that the government warned of imminent attacks by militants, an official said.

    The official, speaking to Reuters on Wednesday, said nobody had claimed responsibility for the blast.

    Addis Ababa put its security forces on heightened alert on Tuesday night after receiving strong evidence that Somalia’s Islamist al Shabaab group was plotting assaults.

  • yorda November 7, 2013

    what does isayas get by killing peoples? why does this leader wake up and work for peace
    and mutual benefits of both coutnries.
    what the hell is this leader? i hope isayas will get hunged soon so that the rest east africa will be full of peace.

  • ERITRAWIT November 7, 2013

    Isais u dream was to be king mixing Eri and Etio,if it doesn’t happen well make them like Somalia. I think all East Africa Country they should work with Eritrean people get rid of the dictator. Other wise peace is out of Question.

  • Teckle November 7, 2013

    THIS HAS GOT NOTHING WITH ERITREA, THE AGAMES Were Doing the homework given to them by their masters in Washington and I believe they will pay the price. As they say Do not play with fire or you get burned.

  • true November 7, 2013

    Lomsi entay kemnebel eko tefiuna, kesab kemzi selam kesen hezbi eritrea aygebeon eu.ayeedun meskinay hezbey

  • slum November 12, 2013

    I m 100percen sure …wyana bobe bus. wow !! this agame know how to play z game. shame on u dirty agame.
    why is asena bringing wyana news anyways

  • guday hager November 17, 2013

    Few things that can make a difference in eritrea.1 ethiopia shoul have evacuate badime and demarcate the boarder.so that esaiay has no way to excuse.esayas will hang himself then aftey

  • tsegai November 24, 2013

    Those who support isayas’s kingdom are the dammies who does not care or don’t give a damn about the population of eritrea.
    true eritreans are those who gave their livrs for their country and those who are still standing against the barbaric isayas’s leadership against his own people,remember isayas have shoot to kill policy against any eritrean who try to run away from his bad leadership and he have killed so many citizens . remember any one who believes in isayas

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