An episode of TPLF-Khartoum regime-sponsored terrorism:
Despair and frustration behind terrorists’ criminal acts on behalf of others:
By: Eritrea Profile
July 9, 2004
We were surprised because at the beginning we thought things were limited to collecting information, and now it came to taking arms inside Eritrea with the Sudanese army and police intensive presence at the border area. He told us not to get scared if we were captured by them to tell them we were from Jihad movement, and if they asked about the weapons to tell them that we were taking it to Barentu and Asmara. He told us that their Jihad movement was very big and strong. He said to us that even Ethiopia is supporting us and told us never to be scared. He said we had to be very conscious and careful about the Eritrean government shaebia (PFDJ). He instructed us to work clandestinely. He told us we were to start immediately our work. He told Jimai to take rest and I Sedigh should come back to him. Next day I alone met Abou-Anass at the market and we went to the same house. We entered the saloon where we found Osman sitting with another person of Tigrigna nationality characteristics. I was scared but he greeted us warmly. What made me suspect he was from the Tigrigna nationality because I noticed some scars on his eyebrows, and secondly because he was wearing trousers and shirt. After we sat, he went to anther room I was again scared how can a Christian work with the Jihad movement, and what was the cause that brought him? I was really scared, then he came back and spoke in Tigrigna. He asked me whether I speak Tigrigna. Osman answered that I was one of their boys from Kassala and I did not speak Tigrigna and my name is Sedigh and introduced him to me as brother Abrhaley and that they used to call him Ibrahim.
Then Abrhaley asked me about the situation in the country and the road. Osman was translating for both of us. Abrhaley asked me also about the checkpoints of the road and the presence of the army and guards whether on the road or inside townships. The questions he asked were about the country, the government and about the official’s moves.
Osman told me that Abrhaley was the supervisor of our work, and that I should provide him with the news. Then Abrhaley took out landmines from a sack, he said that we should take them to Tessenei and put them in a secure place in the ground. I came to see the landmines were very small, and said this was very simple to take like a vegetable sack. I said I could take it in an ordinary way though the border area. Abrhaley told me to be very careful and I asked him what I should do if the landmines explode. He answered it is just like a stone and it did not have the explosive part in it and that I should not be scared. “When you take this landmines to Tessenei and come back we will train you how to use it, and you should not be afraid.” He stood up and entered another room after him came Abou-Anass he told me to walk out of the house and wait for him at a dark place at the periphery of the quarter. Abou-Anass came after me in a car and took me to a house in a Sawagi. I asked Abou-Anass what involved this Abyssinian with your Jihad movement he answered: “don’t be afraid. This person knows Shaebia thoroughly well.” He told me that he came from Tigrai. He said that Abrahely had earlier fought against Mengustu regime and he knew Eritrea quite well. On my part I was not sure of his answer and I had doubts saying to myself how can this man work with these people while he is Christian and at the same time from Tigrai region. In general Abou-Anass took me to the end of the quarter to the area of Al-Sabil. He told me we would meet tomorrow. Next day he came at the time of the appointment and they handed the landmines inside a small sack to me. I took it to our house in an ordinary way and I put it inside a box in our saloon. The day after my brother and I took it within our old clothes and some bread in our traveling bag.
We traveled to Eritrea by crossing from one saghia to the other in the area of Telatasher avoiding the Eritrean checkpoint. We reached a point at the road where we took public transport to Tessenei as if we were coming from the agricultural projects. We had the sack containing the landmine with us. We descended at a distance from our house and we had some rest there, and in the evening we buried the landmines at three different places. Then I stayed in Tessenei for twenty days during which I visited a commemoration occasion of my aunt’s martyred son. This was on the 20th June, following this I returned to Tessenei and told my brother that I would go back to Kassala to meet the group. I went to kassala and met Abou-Anass who took me to Osman and Abrhaley. Abrhaley told me that the task was well done and he gave me the sum of 200,000 Sudanese Pounds. Later Osman and Abou-Anass trained me how to handle another type of landmines. Osman opened the cover of one and showed me how it could be dismantled and regrouped, and how to be buried under the ground. I had three days of training then they took me to a far away place, and gave me a landmine to take and plant in Tessenei. Then I entered Tessenei in the same previously mentioned manner. I took rest from travel I told my brother that I met the group and they gave me landmines to plant at the places at the parking places of government cars and vehicles.
I stayed for two weeks, and I planted the landmines in the places as defined by Osman and Abrhaley. They had asked me to plant them in the stores of Goluge streets near the new vegetables market. I told my brother we would do this task at eight in the evening.
We planted the landmines at the fixed positions. We did this through making a hole with the size of the landmine till we get sure that it is well in place. Then we turned the cover toward the downward direction and were making sure of the liquid inside it.
We dug the wholes for the landmines using a small digging implement called ‘najama’. When we returned to Kassala I met with Abou-Anass and Osman and Abrhaley and I told them that I have planted the landmines in the appointed places, but they did not explode. They had doubts suspecting that I was an informer for the government. I returned and asked my brother about the position of the landmines and whether the government came to know about them. He assured me no one knew about it. And the supervisor and the rest of the group suggested that I should carry out another round of landmines planting, and they supplied me with some. So I returned to Tessenei and I met Jimai and told him that the group did not believe me. We extracted the unexploded landmines and replaced them by other ones. We took the old ones home. We waited for two days and many cars passed along that road and they did not explode. Again I went back to Kassala and I told them that the landmines cannot blow up. Still they continued their doubts about my attitude, and they asked me to return the landmines covers to them. So I was obliged to return to Tessenei and I told Jimai about the matter, and he told me he couldn’t do anything about this because he was engaged. He asked me to return to them the things they asked for. Then I returned to the group and gave them the covers. It should be remembered always that my liaison with them was Abou-Anass who used to take me to them at the house in Halanga. I was sure that they did not believe me. They asked me why did not Jimai come with me, and I told them that he was busy. I blamed them for suspecting our loyalty. They said if we were saying that the landmines were not good we would have them examined by an expert and we would tell you about the results. They asked me to contact them after two days. Then I met Osman and Abrhaley and a third person whom I did not know before. He was of dark complexion called Ab-Al-Wahid of Sudanese nationality speaking Amharic with Osman and Abrhaley. This time they told me that there was a new work and that was planting gyps landmines. Abd-Al Wahid, Abrhaley and Osman trained me and explained to me the way to fix the landmines and connect it with a time device to explode at the required moment, and how this should be put with the landmines in addition to other things. The training took three days, and then when the training was over they asked me to plant the new landmines in the fuel stations and places where there were many cars in Tessenei. They told me to come after two days and meet them at a certain place. Ab-Al-Wahid gave me the landmines and told me about the places where I should plant them. I went the ordinary means of transport carrying with me the landmines, which was of small size than the previous ones. I entered Eritrea in the same manner, where I met Jimai. I told him that the group brought us new type of landmines, and they asked us to plant them near the fuel station this was in October 2003. I took the new type of landmines on my bicycle and at 7:45 p.m. I joined the wire from the landmine to the timing device and inserted a new battery. As this was ready it did not take time for me. I put the new landmine over the old one. Then I returned home. As it was fixed to explode at 8:00 p.m. it blew up exactly at that time. My brother Jimai came and told me about the explosion. We stayed late that night till the morning. My brother went to his work place, which was not far from the fuel station and the workshops. He told me that three vehicles were destroyed. All of them belong to the army and government. People were wondering about the new type of landmines used. After three days I left Tessenei and returned to Kassala. I contacted Abou-Anass who told me to meet him at his house. He did not hear the news of the explosions. I told him the story. He told me to meet him the next day. Then I met Osman who expressed his pleasure at what happened. The group asked me to rest for sometime. I stayed for two weeks without doing anything, and then they assigned me another operation. And this was in November 2003. They told me it was a dangerous one. They gave me the same type of explosives. It was given to me by Osman and Abou-Anass. It was a package. I took it and I went to my home in Tessenei. The order was that I should plant it at bars. I did so by entering the bar and put in a whole near the washing sink. I fixed it to explode at 8:00 p.m. in the evening and I returned to my house. There I heard the explosion. I asked about what happen and I was told that the landmine destroyed one of the walls of the bar. I did not know the exact number of causalities. I returned to Kassala and told them about what happened.
Then I met Osman who had already heard about the news and he said that one of the people hurt was the owner of the bar and was an official of the government in Barentu. They expressed their dissatisfaction by my choice for this bar. In answering a question whether he received money after this terrorist operation he said: “ yes they gave me 2 million Sudanese Pounds, and suggested I should rest for some days before undertaking a new mission. After some days Osman and Abou-Anas(Al-Amin) gave me two gyps landmines and they instructed me to plant it under government cars and vehicles. I returned to Tessenei carrying this landmines in an ordinary sack inside my clothes. I entered Tessenei without passing through the checkpoint. It was in the month of Romodan where the movement of government cars was limited. In the middle of that month I observed the presence of two new lorries carrying some food supplies. I put the two unexploded landmines near the two Gyps landmines in the two vehicles. Planting them did not take a long time to stick them under the cars. And at the fixed hour the first car exploded, and after sometime the other one followed. We were able to see the flames of the fire from where we were. It is because our house was 1.5kms from the place of the explosion. The two cars were removed from that place , we came to know that the two vehicles were totally destroyed with the supplies with which they were loaded. In the same day I returned to Kassala to meet Abou-Anass. I told them about what happened, Osman and the rest heard about the news and they asked me the type of material loaded on the two vehicles. I told them it was sacks of sugar, but they assured me that it was types of grains like wheat. Then came Eid Al-Fitir and I spent the holidays with them. Jimai was with me on this occasion. Abrhaley commended the operations that we carried out up to then. He asked Jimai to settle at Tessenei and collect information about the government institutions locations and others.
As for me they fixed another date to meet them. After three days I met Abou-Anass and took me to his house where I met Abrhaley and Osman. They told me my mission was to go to Barentu to the quarters of the Peacekeeping Forces. Abrhaley encouraged me to carry out this mission, and said to me if I succeeded in it they would appreciate by carrying out this operation and I would have good prospects and future with them. He assured me that he would personally provide me with many things. He also expressed that he personally was concerned with this matter. Then they gave me a good type of explosives, and that was a plastic container (gallon) packed with explosives. In answering the question whether he was acquainted with this new type of explosives, Sidigh responded that he did not know it. It was a gallon filled with flour with a timing device connected with wires to the inside explosive materials. Then Abou-Anass took me in his car with that gallon loaded with explosives. On our way I asked him why targeting the peacekeeping forces. He said that the purpose from this work is to threaten them and expose them to danger and compel them to withdraw and get out of Eritrea, and then Ethiopia would start its invasion against the Eritrean government and then Eritrea will be captured by Ethiopia.