May 29, 2006

Three blasts wound 42 in Ethiopian town

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Three blasts in the Ethiopian town
of Jijiga at the weekend have injured 42 people, the state-run
Ethiopian News Agency said on Monday.

The explosions, on Saturday night, appeared to have been
set off in a coordinated attack in the capital of Ethiopia's
Somali region, located about 485 km (300 miles) west of Addis
Ababa close to the Somali border, officials said.

"Three explosions occurred at Central Hotel, London cafe
and Family cafe in Jijiga town simultaneously around 8 p.m.
Saturday," Abdulahi Hassan, the administrator of the Somali
region, told ENA.

Of the 42 injured, 23 were wounded seriously, he said.

He called the blasts "futile attempts to disrupt the
ongoing development programs in the region," according to ENA.

Blasts have been relatively infrequent in Ethiopia, but the
capital Addis Ababa this year has been hit by a string of
mysterious explosions. At least eight tore through the city
earlier this month, killing four and injuring at least 43.

The Horn of Africa country has seen rising instances of
civil unrest since demonstrators protesting election results
clashed with security forces twice last year, leaving at least
80 dead.

Ethiopia, sub-Saharan Africa's second most populous
country, also has several armed rebel movements which have been
blamed for attacks in the past.