Ethiopia says it has broken off diplomatic relations with Qatar, accusing the Gulf state of supporting armed opposition groups in the Horn of Africa.

In a statement Monday, Ethiopia's government charged that Qatar is a source of instability in the region.

It alleged that Qatar supports armed opposition groups within Ethiopia as well as Islamic insurgents in Somalia, where Ethiopian troops are supporting the government. It also cited Qatar's strong ties with Ethiopia's rival Eritrea.

There was no immediate response from Qatar.

The Ethiopian government said Qatar has been one of the most important supporters of terrorism and extremism in the region.

The statement said Ethiopia had long observed what it called Qatar's "hostile behavior" and had been patient before taking Monday's measure.


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