Ethiopia rebels claim military victories

By Own Correspondent – ADDIS ABABA (AFP) – The Ethiopia’s Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) rebels  on Tuesday issued a statement claiming they had killed more than 200 soldiers in military operations it had conducted  since the beginning of October

According to the statement , listing  all the purported attacks with dates and locations, the rebels claim to have conducted 34 tactical and strategic military operations, killing 267 Ethiopian army soldiers and wounding 157 but the government spokesman Bereket Simon dismissed the emailed ONLF statement saying  there was no significant fire on the ground than can be validated apart from the only  bulldozer driver killed near the town of Fiq.

The Ethiopian government last month signed a peace deal with a faction of the ONLF, but the rebel group’s core has rejected any truce and vowed to continue its decades-old struggle.

Since its formation in 1984, the ONLF has been fighting for the independence of the remote southeastern Ogaden, which is populated mainly by ethnic Somalis and has been marginalised by the Addis Ababa regime.