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Tuesday, 16 May, 2000, 18:05 GMT 19:05 UK
More Eritreans rushed to front

Eritrea has moved troops from other battle areas
Eritrea has rushed reinforcements into the west of the country where Ethiopian troops launched a major offensive five days ago.

Trucks carrying hundreds of Eritrean soldiers were seen heading for the Badme region where battle has been raging.


Ethiopian soldiers
The Ethiopian army has made significant gains
Some of the trucks were coming from the direction of another frontline, indicating that Eritrea was pulling troops from other disputed areas to the western battlefront.

The Eritrean Government has admitted that Ethiopian troops have made advances into Eritrean territory after five days of heavy fighting.

News of the Eritrean reinforcements comes as the United Nations Security Council meets to discuss a US-sponsored proposal for the imposition of an arms embargo on both Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Captured Eritreans

For their part, the Ethiopians have allowed journalists to see a group of almost 500 Eritrean prisoners in a holding area near the border.

One of the captured Eritreans told the BBC correspondent Cathy Jenkins that they were being well cared for and provided with food, water and medical attention.

Both sides say fighting is still going on and the battle area is reported to be strewn with corpses.

One Ethiopian officer, Captain Ephrem Bahru, said his forces were now close to the Eritrean town of Barentu.

Diplomatic efforts are going on at the United Nations to secure a ceasefire but Eritrea is demanding that the UN should condemn Ethiopia for the latest clashes.

The United States has proposed an arms embargo against both countries.

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See also:

16 May 00 | Africa
Battles rage in Eritrea
14 May 00 | Africa
Ethiopia votes amid war
16 May 00 | Africa
US calls for Horn sanctions
16 May 00 | Africa
Arms flood to Horn conflict
13 May 00 | Africa
Call to end Horn war
11 May 00 | Africa
EU presses for Horn peace deal
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