[dehai-news] (Reuters) : Ethiopia says rebel leader killed in west

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From: Berhane Habtemariam (Berhane.Habtemariam@gmx.de)
Date: Fri Nov 07 2008 - 06:06:55 EST

Ethiopia says rebel leader killed in west
Fri 7 Nov 2008, 8:44 GMT

By Tsegaye Tadesse

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - An Ethiopian rebel leader blamed for blasts in Addis Ababa was lured into a farmer's house in the rural west and then shot dead, authorities said on Friday.

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi's government, the biggest U.S ally and military power in the turbulent Horn of Africa, faces a cluster of insurgency movements in its outer regions.

"Legesse Wegi, military commander and central committee member of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), and some of his followers were killed on Wednesday in Kelem district of the western Wellega region," police said in a statement.

It said Legesse, whose OLF has fought for autonomy for the southern Oromo region since 1993, was behind 12 "terrorist" attacks and fatal bombs in Addis Ababa in the last few years.

"He was lured into the home of a farmer to eat food and was then killed by the locals in cooperation with security forces while he was trying to escape," police said.

"Some of his followers were also killed, while some others surrendered to security forces, appealing for mercy," the statement added, without giving more details.

There was no immediate confirmation from the OLF.

Earlier this week, Ethiopian authorities paraded on TV more than a dozen people they said were captured OLF leaders.

Ethiopia says the OLF and other groups are supported by neighbour Eritrea. Asmara denies that, saying Meles's oppressive policies have sparked resistance movements.

A string of explosions have gone off in Ethiopia's highland capital Addis Ababa in recent years, some killing several people at a time, others just causing damage.

Reuters 2008. All Rights Reserved.

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