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Sudan Tribune

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Kenya closes border with Ethiopia over attacks

April 28, 2006 (NAIROBI) — Security officers have sealed off the Kenya-Ethiopia border at Moyale and Marsabit Districts, the Kenyan Standard reported.

The move follows an incident on Wednesday 26 April afternoon, where Ethiopian militiamen crossed into the country. Kenyan soldiers intercepted the group at Samore area in Moyale as they were planning to attack a home in Atesa area of the district. A soldier was injured in the ensuing exchange of fire.

Moyale police boss, Hesbon Kadenge, said five herdsmen, who were kidnapped on Monday 24 April, had been released. The men were rescued by security officers manning the border. The team, comprising military and paramilitary General Service Unit officers, has been guarding the border since Wednesday.

Eastern deputy provincial police officer, Gerald Oluoch, said the team would remain there until calm returned to the region.

Moyale district residents who live close to the border scampered for safety on Wednesday as the Kenyan security officers engaged the Ethiopian militia in a gunfight. Oluoch, who is heading the operation at the border tension was still high in the area.

Police spokesman Gideon Kibunja said the militia – who had crossed the border to evade being captured by Ethiopian security forces – retreated to their territory.

Armed men dressed in Ethiopian military uniform crossed over to Kenya two weeks ago and terrorized villagers, before taking away 2,947 animals.

The government, through the Marsabit District Security Committee, sent a protest note to the Ethiopian government. The attack was, however, blamed on Oromo Liberation Front rebels.