ADDIS ABABA (AFP) — Ethiopian police on Monday blamed an Islamist rebel group for a weekend explosion that killed four people and wounded 22 others in the country's eastern region.
The police chief of the Somali province in eastern Ethiopia, where the incident occurred, said a suspect had confessed to being a member of the Al-Ittihad Al-Islamiya operating in the region.
"We are in the process of hunting down two other suspects identified by the individual in charge of the blast who is already under our custody," Yusuf Mahmoud Mussai told AFP.
"He has confessed that he is a member of Al-Ittihad al-Islamiya."
Al-Ittihad al-Islamiya was formed in 1984 in northern Somalia which borders Ethiopia's restive eastern region. Another rebel group, the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), formed in the same year, also operates there.
The ONLF issued a statement Monday denying they were involved in the blast.
"The ONLF did not plant that bomb and as a principle does not target civilians," the group said.
The government has repeatedly blamed Al-Ittihad Al-Islamiya for previous attacks in the capital Addis Ababa.
The Somali province has been hit by a series of attacks attributed to separatist rebels in recent years.
Last year the army launched an offensive against the Ogaden Nation Liberation Front after they attacked a Chinese-run oil venture and killed 77 people.
Earlier this month, six people were killed and 17 injured by a separate bomb explosion in the capital.
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