Tuesday, March 16, 1999 Published at 21:07 GMT
Hundreds killed in Horn
Fighting resumed at the weekend after a two-week lull
By Alex Last in Asmara
The scene at Velessa on the Tsorona frontline, south of Eritrea's capital Asmara, provided gruesome evidence of the fierce fighting over the last two days.
At least 300 Ethiopian soldiers lay on and around the Eritrean trenches, killed as they reached their first objective.
In the scrubby no-man's land, which stretches some 3km back to Ethiopian positions, lay more Ethiopian corpses and burning remnants of the Ethiopian mechanised attack.
Some of the tanks had been destroyed just yards from the frontline. The line though did not appear to be breached.
The Eritrean commander said his forces had not had enough time to count the Ethiopian dead or the total number of tanks destroyed, although he said he had counted 45 tanks so far.
He said the scene along the front was the same for the next 5km.
On Monday, the Ethiopian Government dismissed as ridiculous Eritrea's claims that it had inflicted heavy losses on the Ethiopian army.
Fighting stopped on the Tsorona front early on Tuesday morning, although intermittent artillery and heavy machine gunfire continued during the day.
The Eritrean soldiers were in jubilant mood, relaxing by the trenches, despite the small tissues stuffed up their noses to block the smell of the Ethiopian corpses.
The Eritrean commander said Eritrean losses were very light compared to the Ethiopian casualties.
There is still no ceasefire, nor any agreement to end the war between the two neighbours.