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09 December 2023

Two held in Angola after rebel attack on Togo team


Police in Angola are holding two suspects in connection with the shooting of the Togolese football team which left two squad members dead, officials said yesterday.

"Two assailants were captured on Friday, one a few minutes after the attack and the second at the border while crossing into Congo-Brazzaville," said Macario Lembe, the deputy governor of Cabinda, an Angolan enclave inside the Democratic Republic of Congo where Friday's attack took place.

"The first suspect was injured in his left thigh by police who responded when he opened fire from a tree at the Togolese bus," said Lembe.

The two suspects belonged to a group of five people who launched the attack and were yesterday still in the hands of police. The attack occurred as the team bus headed into the oil-rich province of Cabinda from the Republic of Congo where they were to take part in the Africa Cup of Nations tournament which opened on Sunday.

Togo's assistant coach Amalete Abalo and the team's media spokesman Stanislas Ocloo died in Friday's attack.

Nine other people were injured including Togo's reserve goalkeeper Kodjovi Obilale, who was flown to South Africa for surgery. The Togolese team withdrew from the tournament following the attack and left Angola on Sunday evening to return home.

A splinter group of the independence movement Flec (Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Angola) has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Cabinda has been the scene of a long-running independence struggle. A peace deal was signed in 2006.


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