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Ethiopian rebels said Sunday they have killed 140 Ethiopian soldiers in the country's southeast.
About 1,000 fighters of the Ogaden National Liberation Front attacked Ethiopian troops on Saturday in a southeastern area of Wardher, about 780 kilometers southeast of the capital, Addis Ababa, the group said in a statement e-mailed to The Associated Press.
Government officials were not immediately available for comment. It was not possible to independently verify the rebel claims because the area where the attack took place is remote.
On Saturday, "a major ONLF military operation involving nearly 1,000 ONLF troops ... resulted in over 140 [Ethiopian government soldiers] killed with many more wounded," the statement said.
"This operation was a direct response to the burning of Caado village recently and the continuing abuses against the people of Ogaden by [government] forces in the Wardher area."