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Page last updated at 20:56 GMT, Saturday, 9 January 2010

Three dead after gun attack on Togo football team

Players in shock after the attack (video grab)
Emmanuel Adebayor, right, escaped injury but was visibly shocked

The death toll from an attack on Togo's football team as they travelled in Angola has risen from one to three, reports say.

The team bus driver was killed in Friday's attack, with the deaths of the assistant coach and a spokesman announced a day later.

Two players were among nine people injured in the attack as the team headed to the Africa Cup of Nations.

The team were recalled from the competition by the Togo government.

The Angolan government officials and tournament organisers had held unsuccessful talks with the team to persuade them to stay after reports they were withdrawing.

The attack happened in Angola's northern province of Cabinda on Friday.

Goalkeeper Kossi Agassa, who plays for French club Istres, told France-Info radio that two people had died.

They were the assistant coach Amalete Abalo and media spokesperson Stanislas Ocloo.

CABINDA
Map
Oil-rich province cut off from the rest of Angola by DR Congo
Flec rebels fought for region's independence
Rebels laid down arms in 2006 but some unrest continues
Angola had dismissed concerns about staging games there

Among the nine people injured were two players, an assistant manager, physio, goalkeeping coach and another coach.

Reserve goalkeeper Kodjovi Obilale was flown to South Africa for surgery for injuries to his back, club president Philippe Le Mestre told AP news agency.

The attackers machine-gunned the vehicle after it crossed from the Republic of Congo into Angola's oil-rich territory of Cabinda.

Rebels who have been fighting for the region's independence later said they had carried out the attack.

The Angolan government called the incident an "act of terrorism".

Togo had been due to play their first cup game in Cabinda on Monday.

The Angolan Prime Minister, Paulo Kassoma, described the attack as an "isolated act", and guaranteed the security of teams, AFP news agency reported.

The BBC sports correspondent says that Togo's withdrawal will be a crushing blow for the Angolan hosts, who hoped the tournament would show how far their country had progressed since the end of the civil war.

The tournament's organisers, the Confederation of African Football (CAF), said the team should have travelled by air rather than road.



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SEE ALSO
Togo footballers tell of attack
08 Jan 10 |  Africa
Togo footballers shot in ambush
08 Jan 10 |  Africa
Africa Cup of Nations: Venue guide
07 Jan 10 |  Africa
Country profile: Angola
07 Apr 11 |  Country profiles

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