Bomb blast kills two in Addis Ababa

Monday, October 14, 2013

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – A bomb blast in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa killed two people on Sunday, state radio said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing, but Ethiopia says it has thwarted plots of attacks in the past two years and blames rebel groups based in the south and southeast, as well as Somalia’s al Shabaab insurgents.

“A bomb blast occurred at a residential house in the Bole district and killed two unidentified individuals,” a report on national radio said, quoting the National Security and Intelligence Service.

The explosion occurred in the city’s upscale Bole district, about 5 km (3 miles) from a soccer stadium where thousands of fans were queuing for tickets to a World Cup qualifier against Nigeria and gathering at squares in the capital to watch the match on giant screens.

The radio did not mention any suspected link to the match.

It quoted the security service as saying it was investigating the incident and gave no more details.

Ethiopian troops have been fighting al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab militants in Somalia since 2011, alongside African Union forces from Uganda and Burundi and Kenya.

However, the Horn of Africa nation has so far been spared the sorts of attacks the militants have carried out in nearby countries – such as the siege at the Nairobi mall last month and the attack on soccer fans in Uganda in 2010 – although it has been hit by sporadic explosions in recent years.

Thirteen people were wounded when an explosive device ripped through a bus near the border with Eritrea in 2010, while a bomb explosion near a court in the capital wounded two in 2011.

(Reporting by Aaron Maasho; Editing by Alison Williams)

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