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World IN BRIEF / ETHIOPIA

New Front in Border Fight With Eritrea

June 12, 1998|From Times Wire Reports

Troops clashed again with Eritrean forces, this time on a new front 300 miles from the disputed territory in the nations' border conflict. Ethiopia claimed a major victory in the fighting near the Red Sea, saying it killed, wounded or captured 2,000 Eritrean soldiers. Officials claimed that Eritrean troops surprised their forces near Bure but that they were able to defeat the invaders. Eritrea disputed that account, claiming that Ethiopia had opened the new front and implying that its neighbor was trying to capture the Red Sea port of Assab, 50 miles from the fighting. Eritrea, a former Ethiopian province, gained independence in 1993. The border conflict between the two nations erupted into combat May 6, and the two sides have clashed almost daily for the last week.

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