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Ethiopian Rebels Say They Found Missing WFP Workers

Rebels in Ethiopia's Ogaden region say they have found two World Food Program (WFP) workers missing since an attack May 13.

The rebel Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) said in a statement Thursday that it found the two WFP workers after capturing the eastern town of Galalshe from government forces.

The rebels say the WFP workers had been abducted by the Ethiopian army, and were among hundreds of prisoners in a local jail who had been tortured.

The ONLF says it will contact the WFP to discuss handing over the workers.

There has been no confirmation of the report from the WFP or Ethiopian authorities.

Ethiopian officials have accused the rebels of kidnapping the workers, who disappeared after gunmen ambushed two WFP vehicles in Ogaden nearly two weeks ago. A local driver working for the U.N. agency was killed in that attack.

The ONLF and Ethiopian authorities often make competing claims about military developments or alleged atrocities.

The ONLF has been fighting for regional independence from Ethiopia since 1984.

The WFP is active in the region trying to help people affected by a severe drought. Ethiopian authorities recently said 1.3 million in the region need emergency food aid.

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