Gunmen have opened fire on a bus carrying Togo’s national football team to the Africa Cup of Nations, killing the driver and wounding at least nine people.

Togo’s footballers, two of whom were hit, said they wanted to pull out of the 16-nation tournament, though a member of the Angola organising committee said it will go ahead as planned from Sunday.

Togo’s bus was travelling in a convoy from Congo and was six miles across the border in Angola when it came under machine gun fire. The Angolan bus driver died in the 30-minute ambush, according to Togo captain Emmanuel Adebayor and his government.

Nantes striker Thomas Dossevi told Radio Monte Carlo: „We were machine-gunned like dogs. They were armed to the teeth. We spent 20 minutes underneath the seats of the bus.”

Dossevi told Infosport television in France: „We were surrounded by police buses. Everything looked fine and we came under heavy fire. Everyone scrambled under the seats trying to protect themselves. It lasted at least a quarter of an hour with the police responding.”

The wounded were taken to a hospital in Cabinda, and Portugal’s state-run Lusa news agency said it received a communication from the region’s main separatist group, FLEC, claiming to have carried out the attack.

In Togo, the government put the total number of injured at nine, and said the slain driver was Angolan. A delegation has been sent to Pointe Noire in Congo, where the Togolese team is now holed up.

Togo Football Federation vice president Gabriel Ameyi said the team should have flown to Angola instead of traveling by road. He said defender Serge Akakpo and backup goalkeeper Obilale Kossi were among those hurt.

FC Vaslui said on its Web site that the 22-year-old Akakpo, who joined the Romanian club from Auxerre last year, was hit by two bullets and lost a lot of blood but was now out of danger.

Adebayor told the BBC: „If the security is not sure then we will be leaving tomorrow. I don’t think they will be ready to give their life. Most of the players want to go back to their family. No one can sleep after what they have seen today. They have seen one of their teammates have a bullet in his body, who is crying, who is losing consciousness and everything.”

Read the article on Guardian Unlimited

Gunmen attack football team’s bus

Gunmen have opened fire on a bus carrying Togo’s national football team to the Africa Cup of Nations, killing the driver and wounding at least nine people.

Togo’s footballers, two of whom were hit, said they wanted to pull out of the 16-nation tournament, though a member of the Angola organising committee said it will go ahead as planned from Sunday.

Togo’s bus was travelling in a convoy from Congo and was six miles across the border in Angola when it came under machine gun fire. The Angolan bus driver died in the 30-minute ambush, according to Togo captain Emmanuel Adebayor and his government.

Nantes striker Thomas Dossevi told Radio Monte Carlo: „We were machine-gunned like dogs. They were armed to the teeth. We spent 20 minutes underneath the seats of the bus.”

Dossevi told Infosport television in France: „We were surrounded by police buses. Everything looked fine and we came under heavy fire. Everyone scrambled under the seats trying to protect themselves. It lasted at least a quarter of an hour with the police responding.”

The wounded were taken to a hospital in Cabinda, and Portugal’s state-run Lusa news agency said it received a communication from the region’s main separatist group, FLEC, claiming to have carried out the attack.

In Togo, the government put the total number of injured at nine, and said the slain driver was Angolan. A delegation has been sent to Pointe Noire in Congo, where the Togolese team is now holed up.

Togo Football Federation vice president Gabriel Ameyi said the team should have flown to Angola instead of traveling by road. He said defender Serge Akakpo and backup goalkeeper Obilale Kossi were among those hurt.

FC Vaslui said on its Web site that the 22-year-old Akakpo, who joined the Romanian club from Auxerre last year, was hit by two bullets and lost a lot of blood but was now out of danger.

Adebayor told the BBC: „If the security is not sure then we will be leaving tomorrow. I don’t think they will be ready to give their life. Most of the players want to go back to their family. No one can sleep after what they have seen today. They have seen one of their teammates have a bullet in his body, who is crying, who is losing consciousness and everything.”

Read the article on Guardian Unlimited

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