An explosion at a cafe in Ethiopia’s northern region of Tigray killed five people Saturday and wounded 20 others, officials said, blaming the attack on neighboring Eritrea.
“This is an attack by the Eritrean government to deliberately disrupt the upcoming elections,” said Micheal Abraha, Tigray’s administrator.
Ethiopia is scheduled to hold national elections on May 23.
The explosion on a market day in the town of Adi-Daero came only a day after two Eritrean rebel groups said they had killed 11 government soldiers in coordinated attacks on military camps in southern Eritrea.
The two Horn of Africa neighbors have had long running hostilities and tensions simmer along their common border due to a dispute over the frontier.
Relations have been at an impasse since they fought a 1998-2000 war in which at least 70,000 people were killed.
Tigray’s regional president, Tsegay Berhe, said Eritrean agents sneaked into the country and were responsible for the attack.
“Ethiopian elections won’t be disrupted despite Eritrea’s attempts to do so,” he said.
There was no immediate comment from the Eritrean government.
Ethiopian Television News about the explosion in Tigray, Ethiopia Video:
Reuters: (Reporting by Tesfa-Alem Tekle; Editing by Helen Nyambura-Mwaura)