Twin Atrocities (Mai Habar and Adi Abieto)
Excerpts from a Message from Asmara
(Name withheld)

Here is a brief report on what took place in Adi Abieto (dispatched by our contact in Asmara yesterday evening):

* There were thousands of soldiers mobilized in the outskirts of Asmara on the eve of Nov 4, 2004. At dawn they swarmed the city and positioned themselves in major streets.
* The rounding up was so severe that soldiers went in homes, shops, private companies, and major buildings such as banks and churches. Literally they dragged youngsters and anyone who looked below the age of 50 from everywhere.
* Soldiers were also seen stopping public buses (the writer makes a mention of bus no17). In another instance, the driver of one of the buses (no 19) who was seemingly young was dragged out of the bus and the passengers were seen leaving the bus on foot.
* The number of the rounded up citizens on that day was by the thousands. The prisoners were kept in prison camps for 72 hours.
* Trouble started at the camp due to overcrowding, poor sanitation, cold whether and lack of food and water. The stench was unbearable. The prisoners set old tires that were stored in the camp on fire and that even made the situation more unbearable. The flames went as high as the ceiling. Later after a fire engine arrived the prisoners attacked it with rocks. Soon after, the other prisoners joined them by pushing their way out of their wards during which a big chunk of the wall collapsed killing some guards. More guards poured into the compound and the situation totally got out of hand. Shooting started and the mayhem that ensued resulted in numerous deaths and serious injuries.

Email form Asmara