Saturday, January 9, 2010

Togo’s National Team Bus Ambushed

Gunmen in an area plagued by separatist violence used machine guns to open fire Friday on a bus carrying Togo’s national team to a tournament in Angola, wounding at least nine people, including two players. Some players said they wanted to pull out of the African Cup of Nations tournament after the violence, but an official in Angola said it would go ahead as planned.Togo’s bus in a convoy from Congo was six miles across the border in Angola when it came under fire. The bus driver died in the 30-minute ambush, according to the Togo captain Emmanuel Adebayor, who was not hurt.

“We were machine-gunned like dogs,” Thomas Dossevi, who plays for the French club Nantes, told Radio Monte Carlo. “They were armed to the teeth,” he said, adding, “We spent 20 minutes underneath the seats of the bus.”

The wounded were taken to a hospital in Cabinda, and Portugal’s state-run Lusa news agency said it received a communication from the region’s main separatist group, FLEC, claiming to have carried out the attack. The Togo Football Federation said defender Serge Akakpo and the backup goalkeeper Obilale Kossi were among those injured.

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