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U.S. says own citizen killed in Ethiopian blast

U.S. says own citizen killed in Ethiopian blast

Wed 21 May 2008, 18:37 GMT
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WASHINGTON, May 21 (Reuters) - A U.S. citizen died in an explosion aboard a minibus taxi in Addis Ababa that Ethiopian police are blaming on extremists, the State Department said on Wednesday.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack confirmed Tuesday's death but declined to provide the name of the victim or details because the person's family was still being notified.

"The embassy confirms one American citizen was killed in yesterday's minibus explosion. Apparently there was an explosion on a minibus that this person was on," said McCormack.

Asked whether foul play was suspected, McCormack said: "It sounds like there is something more than just a faulty gas line."

Police in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, said a device had been planted by "suspected terrorists" on the minibus as it was traveling between the Hilton hotel and the foreign ministry.

It was the latest in a string of explosions in Addis Ababa that Ethiopia has blamed on extremists backed by its neighbor and rival Eritrea. (Reporting by Arshad Mohammed; Writing by Sue Pleming; Editing by Xavier Briand)

Reuters 2008. All Rights Reserved.

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