INTRODUCTION: Ethiopian troops are reported to be deserting in the face of attacks from guerrillas fighting for the independence of the northern province of Eritrea.
GV: Eritrean camp in Ethiopian village of Karora with flag flying. (4 shots)
GV AND SV: Eritrean troops in trenches guarding camp. (5 shots)
GV: Eritrean troops patrolling the area (4 shots)
SV AND CU: captured government weapons in Sudan. (5 shot)
GV EXTERIOR: hospital at Port Sudan with troops outside. (2 shots)
SV: Sudanese troops treating injured Ethiopian soldiers. (4 shots)
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Ethiopian troops are reported to be deserting in the face of attacks from guerrillas fighting for the independence of the northern province of Eritrea. The Sudanese News Agency, Suna, said in one incident, 280 Ethiopian troops surrendered to their attackers and agreed to fight with them. Earlier, 96 Ethiopian troops fled over the border to Sudan after Eritrean guerrillas attacked their military camp in the village of karora.
SYNOPSIS: Guerrillas of the Marxist Eritrean Popular Liberation Front -- the EPLF -- stormed the camp on the night of January the sixth. Rather than surrender to the guerrillas, Captain Ababa Cherie, commander of the Ethiopian troops, decided to made the 500-yard (170 metres) dash from the back of the barracks to the frontier. The Ethiopians surrendered under a White flag to Sudanese authorities across the border. The Eritreans have dug in at Karora in preparation for an expected counter-attack by the Ethiopians.
While the Eritreans consolidate themselves at Karora, a windswept outpost inhabited only by Redouin people whose camels and goats are the only signs of animal life -- more guerrilla groups are moving south westwards, attacking Ethiopian army posts. They are said by Sudanese intelligence to have taken control of most roads in the area and put several Ethiopian units on the run.
The EPLF regard the Ethiopian military government as a US-backed imperialistic colonising power. The wounded Ethiopians who fled from the Karora action were carrying U.S. made rifles and grenade launchers. The EPLF is one of three liberation groups and claim to have 22,000 men under arms.
The Ethiopians were taken to Port Sudan, 70 miles (120 kms) to the north where 81 were being held under guard in a former British Army barracks, and 15 men wounded in the clash were being held in a military hospital. Doctor say their injuries are slight. All have been interviewed by Sudanese intelligence officers. One of the wounded men told reporters that they fled because they knew that if they fell into the hands of the guerrillas, they would be killed.