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Driver killed, nine injured as assailants open fire on Togolese team bus

A bus carrying the Togolese team playing in the Africa Cup of Nations was fired on near the Angolan border. The head of Togo's football federation told AFP that the driver was killed and nine others were injured.

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AFP - Togo's government said Friday it is sending officials to the Congolese town of Pointe Noire across the border from where the national team bus was ambushed in an Angolan enclave Friday in an attack that left one dead and nine injured.

The driver of the bus carrying Togo's side to the African Nations Cup was killed in the attack, claimed by the armed wing of the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC), while nine Togolese delegation members were hurt.

As the FLEC warned of more attacks in its bid to press independence claims, the Togolese Football Federation said officials would set out for the area Saturday and head for Pointe Noire where the squad was to spend the night.

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A government statement meanwhile said that Lome was keeping a close eye on developments after the attack, which left some players saying they did not wish to play the tournament.

"The government, which is monitoring the situation hourly, has decided to send a delegation to Pointe Noire where the team currently are to support our compatriots and the whole delegation and to evaulate the situation," the statement read.

"The Togolese people will be kept regularly informed on how this painful episode progresses," it added.

Togo had been due to compete in Cabinda starting with a match on Monday against Ghana. Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso are also in the group.

Burkina Faso's Portuguese coach Paulo Duarte said meanwhile in comments reported in Lisbon that he judged the incident to be "an isolated episode."

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"In my opinion, security is good. We are well protected. In my view this is an isolated episode," Duarte told Portuguese news agency Lusa, adding that he believed the Togolese should have followed organisers' advice and travelled to Angola by air, to the capital Luanda, before heading to Cabinda from there.

Instead, they elected to travel directly by road from their own country.

The African Football Confederation, which earlier confirmed the tournament would go ahead,  had stipulated that all teams should fly in to Angola.

 

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