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Ethiopian Govt Denies Rebel Attack Killing 140 Soldiers

An Ethiopian government spokesman denies that a reported rebel attack said to have killed 140 soldiers ever took place.

The spokesman, Zemedkun Tekle, issued the denial Sunday after media reports said the Ogaden National Liberation Front had claimed to have carried out the deadly attack Saturday in southeastern Ethiopia near Wardheer.

A purported statement from the group received by some news organizations said about a thousand rebels took part in the attack and seized ammunition along with military hardware.

The government spokesman says there was no attack, and that the rebel group is not in a position to carry out such an attack.

Rebels have been fighting for more autonomy for ethnic Somalis in the eastern region of Ogaden bordering Somalia.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.