Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Three Eritrean officers defect to Saudi Arabia-website

(Nov 12, 2013, DUBAI (Reuters))--Three Eritrean military officers have asked for political asylum in Saudi Arabia after Saudi air force jets forced their aircraft to land in the southern part of the kingdom, the local news website Sabq reported on Tuesday.

Sabq quoted Yassin bin Ahmed al-Qassem, a spokesman for the Jazan Emirate, as saying that F-15 planes were deployed when the Eritrean aircraft entered Saudi airspace without permission. "The aircraft forced to land in the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz airport was carrying three Eritrean officers seeking political asylum," Sabq quoted Yassin as saying.

The Eritraen aircraft were military but used to carry equipment and not fighters, Yassin added. Eritrea, which split from Ethiopia in 1991, is one of Africa's most secretive states and dissent is dealt with harshly. Located on the opposite side of the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia, it has long been at odds with the United States and is accused of human rights abuses by international monitors. Read more from Reuters »

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