Ethiopia and Eritrea have exchanged accusations over who started Sunday’s fighting at their disputed border.

Ethiopia’s Information Minister Getachew Reda described the clashes in the Tsorona area as “an Eritrean initiative”.

Earlier, the Eritrean government said that Ethiopia had “unleashed” the attack.

A peace deal in 2000 ended the countries’ two-year war border war but it has not been fully implemented.

Ever since, the countries have been in a state of “neither war nor peace”, says the BBC‘s Ethiopia correspondent Emmanuel Igunza.

Residents on the Ethiopian side of the border reported hearing gunfire and seeing a large movement of troops and artillery towards the frontier on Sunday.

There were reports that clashes continued into Monday morning.

“There were significant casualties on both sides, but more on the Eritrean side,” Mr Getachew told the AFP news agency.

Eritrea has not mentioned any casualty figures.

What sparked the clashes? Emmanuel Igunza, BBC Ethiopia correspondent:

It’s not clear why the fighting has erupted now.

But in recent months both sides have upped the rhetoric with the latest verbal salvo coming from Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki during celebrations to mark 25 years of the country’s independence.

He accused Ethiopia of being hostile to Eritrea’s sovereignty.

Earlier this year, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said his country was ready to take “proportionate military action against Eritrea” for what he described as “continuous acts of provocation and destabilization of Ethiopia”.

Continue reading this story on BBC News
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