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Sudan, Ethiopia army clash at disputed border after attack that killed seven soldiers

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Clashes have been reported at the disputed al-Fashaga border area between Sudanese army and that of Ethiopia following the alleged capture, execution and public display of the bodies of seven soldiers and a civilian killed over the weekend.

On Tuesday, Sudan said that it had fired heavy artilerry and recaptured several of its territories that were being held by the Ethiopian army. “Sudan’s army fired long-distance artillery from Monday morning until Tuesday afternoon, but nobody was injured”, said Assefa Ashege, a senior security official in Ethiopia’s Amhara region.

The latest comes as the quarrel over al-Fashaqa, where the north-west of Ethiopia’s Amhara region meets Sudan’s breadbasket Gedaref state which has been settled by Ethiopian farmers for decades, escalated in recent years alongside a diplomatic spat over Ethiopia’s construction of a hydropower dam.

Military planes according to the BBC could be seen circling the contested area as the Sudanese assault continued.

Addis Ababa has denied the allegations from Sudan of its troops capturing and executing seven Sudanese soldiers. But it has also insisted and accused Sudanese soldiers of encroaching into its territory.

Earlier on Tuesday, a group consisting of activists and members of the press gathered in front of the Ethiopian embassy in the capital Khartoum, with banners reading “Fashaqa belongs to Sudan”. 

The escalation of tensions between the two African countries who are also embroiled in a dispute over Ethiopia’s filling of a mega hydroelectric dam along the River Nile has raised concerns over security and stability in the east African region where the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda are increasing rhetoric of a potential clash over rebel control of a shared border.