Togo's championship football team has left Angola and pulled out of the African Cup of Nations following a deadly gun ambush, reports French radio RMC. The players were ordered home today only hours before they were scheduled to play against Ghana on the Cup's opening day.
The bus was driving through the oil-rich Cabinda province, one of the venues for the Cup, which has been plagued by extremist violence and terrorism for decades. The team's assistant coach, a spokesman and the Angolan bus driver were all killed. Eight people were wounded, including two players. Reserve goalkeeper Kodjovi Obilale remains in a stable condition in a South African hospital after surgery.
SKY News adds: "Togo withdrew on the orders of its government which accused Angola of failing to protect the team following the attack on their bus that left three people dead." Manchester player and Togo captain Emmanuel Adebayor wanted the team to remain and play in Angloa in honor of their fallen comrades. Adebayor tells the Australian Broadcasting Corp: "It's very sad. It's hard for Africa and for us."
The Forces for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda claims it warned authorities before the attack that the territory was "at war." The rebels say the Togolese team was not specifically targeted and they would have ambushed "any" soccer team. The rebels threaten further attacks. Watch ITN's report WHEN YOU JUMP.