Togo team bus machine-gunned by rebel soldiers

The Togo national team have come under machine-gun fire from Angolan rebels as they entered the south-central African country ahead of their match with Ghana on Monday.

It is being reported that at least three members of the squad were injured in the incident, which took place on the Congolese border as the team travelled to the disputed province of Cabinda, where Monday’s Group B opener is due to take place.

Reuters are reporting that the driver was killed immediately, quoting a Togolese sports ministry spokesman in Lome as saying "The Angolan driver was killed on the spot". All reports agree that several players and staff have been hospitalised.

Nantes striker Thomas Dossevi, who is a member of the Togolese squad for the tournament and was on board the team coach when the incident unfolded, told Radio Monte Carlo: "I am fine but several players are in a bad way.

"We are still at hospital. We were machine-gunned like dogs at the border with Angola - machine-gunned! I don't know why.

"We had to hide for 20 minutes under the seats to avoid the bullets."

Cabinda is an oil-rich region, where rebels are fighting for independence. However, Africa Cup of Nations officials have described the attackers as armed robbers.

There are now serious question marks over whether Togo will appear in the tournament, which starts on Sunday, at all.

"We're not thinking yet about what could happen but no one wants to play [in the tournament]," said Grenoble midfielder Alaixys Romao.

"We're thinking first about the health of our injured because there was a lot of blood on the ground.

"For the moment there is not much news because they have been taken to different hospitals. In cases like this we are thinking of those near us and those we love becuase that really could have been the end of us."

Also among the squad are Manchester City’s former Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor and Aston Villa youngster Moustapha Salifou.

Salifou is believed to be unhurt while City released a statement that Adebayor is not among the wounded.

"Manchester City can confirm that striker Emmanuel Adebayor is uninjured after this afternoon's attack on the Togo team bus in Angola.

"Club officials have spoken with Adebayor and though shaken by the terrible events, he is unharmed."

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