The Eritrean government today announces that it successfully repulsed the surprise attack launched by
Ethiopian TPLF troops on the Tsorona Central Front on Sunday with TPLF forces sustaining a significant lose.
Residents on the Ethiopian side reported they have seen hundreds of wounded Ethiopian soldiers taken to nearby hospitals, signifying the devastated outcome of the Eritrean response to this latest Ethiopian adventure.
Ethiopian government spokesman, Getachew Reda, who had initially claimed no knowledge of the fighting, told AFP its troops had in fact sustained significant casualties.
“There were significant casualties on both sides, but more on the Eritrean side,” said gullible Reda stressing rather its heavy loses and the far larger scale of the battle.
“The attack launched by the TPLF regime on the Tsarina Central Front on Sunday, 12 June 2016, has been repulsed with TPLF troops sustaining heavy casualties,” Eritrea’s ministry of information said in a statement today, still accusing Ethiopia of military aggression.
Both sides blamed the other for starting the attack. While Eritrea has been consistent with its claims, Ethiopia rather issued five different and contradictory versions of the story in the space of three days.
The first version issued through proxy media outlets alluded to advances of its army to Tsorona village in a fighting that erupted on Sunday June 12, 2016 at 5:00 a.m.
The second version issued yesterday through proxies again claimed that its troops were attacked by Eritrea while “playing football” (at 5:00 a.m.?).
Third version quoted an anonymous official who denied any fighting of any sort and claimed the story was fig-leaf in Eritrea’s imagination.
Fourth version by the Minister of Communications and Spokesman talks about “retaliatory action” and all the earlier version are for the ambush that was taken place in previous week.
Fifth and current version by the Spokesperson claims fighting started when Eritrean artillery fired shells across the border and hit an ambulance.
“Eritrean forces started shelling our positions, including civilian ambulances, and we responded,” Getachew told AFP.
“The purpose and ramifications of this Ethiopian attack are not clear,” Eritrea said on Sunday, adding it “will issue further statements on the unfolding situation.”
Eritrea also says the border situation has calmed down ‘for the moment’ and what will happen next depends on Ethiopia’s next move.
Ethiopia on the other hand said it will not escalate the dispute on its own and in fact already started withdrawing its forces.