Togo withdrew from the African Soccer (Football outside US/Canada) Cup after deadly machine-gun attack on its team bus in Cabinda, a disputed oil-rich enclave separated from the rest of Angola by Democratic Republic of Congo territory, shortly after the team bus had crossed the border.
Dossevi, 30, who plays for French side Nantes, told CNN “armed rebels” with AK-47s had opened fire.
“We were attacked by armed rebels who used Kalashnikovs. We had just passed the border and a couple of minutes later we were attacked from both sides.
“We hid below the seats — we had police protection in front and behind but we were attacked from both sides. As soon as I heard the bullets I went to the floor. … The attack lasted for 10-15 minutes, ” Dossevi said.
The bus driver was killed and two players were shot and injured, while seven other people were wounded. The wounded included Togo’s goalkeeper Kodjovi Obilale who was shot.
“I know I am really lucky. I was in the back of the coach with Emmanuel Adebayor and one of the goalkeepers,” Salifou told the Web site of his English club Aston Villa.
“A defender who was sat in front of me took two shots in the back. The goalkeeper, Obilale, one of my best friends, was shot in the chest and stomach area and he has been flown to South Africa to undergo an operation to save his life.
“It was horrific. Everybody was crying. I couldn’t stay in control myself and I cried when I saw the injuries to my friend.”
“It was only 15 minutes after we crossed into Angola that the coach came under heavy fire from rebels. The driver of the coach was shot almost immediately and died instantly, so we were just stopped on the road with nowhere to go.
“Our security people saved us. They were in two separate cars, about 10 of them in total and they returned fire. The shooting lasted for half an hour and I could hear the bullets whistling past me. It was like a movie.” Source: edition.cnn.com
Similar incident happened 10 months ago when gunmen opened fire on a bus carrying Sri Lanka’s cricket players in Lahore, Pakistan. It seems that there is a trend used by terrorist to attack sports players to get media attention,
Interestingly, the team was advised not to take the bus through the dangerous region. It makes you wonder why they wouldn’t fly as advised between the cities?