ADDIS ABABA - Eritrea said on Monday the United Nations was considering imposing sanctions on two Eritrean military officials over allegations they had helped Islamist militants in Somalia, and accused Washington of being behind the plan.

The United States Treasury included the two Eritreans on a list of six people placed under sanctions last week for their role in the Somali conflict, which US officials see as a growing threat to stability across east Africa.

"On July 3, the UN Sanctions Committee included the personal details of two Eritrean military officials in its list of persons allegedly 'associated with terrorist activities' in Somalia," the Eritrean foreign ministry said in a statement.

It accused the committee of failing to validate the charges, and said the plan was part of a "sinister ploy" by the United States, which it accuses of conspiring with its arch-foe Ethiopia to topple its government.

Eritrea, which declared independence from Ethiopia in 1993 after three decades of fighting, has an unresolved border dispute with Addis Ababa, and the two have frequently clashed as they try to influence events in Somalia.

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