Togo bus attacked by rebels (Updated)

Togo

Tragedy has struck ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations as several media outlets are reporting an attack on the Togo national team bus that was transporting them to Angola.

The BBC is reporting that a group of armed rebels opened fire on the bus as it crossed the border into the oil-rich nation. A few players and coaches have been reported to be in the hospital in critical condition, with the bus driver the only known fatality so far. Many of the players were able to take cover under the seats while they were being attacked. Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor was on the bus but emerged unscathed.

Early reaction from the players is that they will withdraw from the tournament. The team was traveling from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Cabinda, Angola where they were schedule to start play on Monday.

(UPDATE- Nine were injured in the attack, including two players. The tournament will start as planned on Sunday according to reports, with the Togo players determining the fate of their side this weekend. Reports of a Togo boycott have emerged.)

What do you think? Will Togo withdraw from the cup? Is the entire competition in danger?

Share your thoughts below.

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73 Responses to Togo bus attacked by rebels (Updated)

  1. Horrific. Hope those injured get well soon. Yes. And yes. But they shouldn’t. If they do – the rebels win.

  2. Andrew says:

    Terrible situation. But this could have been much worse, and we should be thankful for that.

  3. Andrew says:

    Thankful that it wasn’t much worse (is how that should have read)

  4. adenovato says:

    I cannot imagine Togo staying in the competition. As great of a story as that would be, several players and coaches have been shot, and that takes a serious toll.

    I hope these guys get well soon.

  5. adenovato says:

    nice lol

  6. Jeff says:

    Best wish for a speedy recovery for all injured

  7. south says:

    Absolutely horrible.

    Hopefully this is no foreshadow to events that could happen to various modes of transportation around Africa during the World Cup.

    My blessings head out to everyone involved, this is a huge burden for these players physically and mentally, I hope everyone can make a full recovery.

  8. donturtuccio says:

    and the leader of the country claimed that it was the players fault for not flying… granted they should have flown, but screw you for not controlling your country

  9. julian says:

    God i hate it when Futbol mixes with anything else…it should be the one thing everyone gets together for

  10. culeeero says:

    Imagine how much worse this could have been. Soccernet reports that the attackers first fired on the team’s luggage bus, which at least gave people a chance to dive on the floor.

    High profile event in a politically-unstable country? Sounds like trouble from the word “go”. We’re all lucky that nothing like this happened with the U-20 WC in Nigeria, despite the threats.

  11. Erik says:

    Most of Africa has the same problem. What a clown.

  12. Rastafari --SBI Herbsman says:

    Good chance Drogba will be back with Chelsea next week and I won’t have to drop him from my Fantasy team.

  13. curmudgeon says:

    Phew, that’s a relief. Never mind their lives and health — we were all most worried about your fantasy team, after all.

  14. CSD says:

    The whole world has problems. The two Olympics affected by terrorism were in Germany and the US.

  15. Jeff says:

    *wishes

  16. Kevin_Amold says:

    We’re all glad that this tragedy saved you a transfer….

    It’s so messed up, I would support Togo if they pulled out. Best wishes to all victims and families. I wish we lived in a world where people decided that they didn’t have to kill each other. Guess that’s too naive.

  17. Lorenzo says:

    I hope for a speedy recovery. I do not think the team will or should continue. It is to unstable there to think about playing footie

  18. Mike says:

    What an idiot! They should remove the tournament from hi country.

    I can’t beleive he said that

  19. Mikebsiu says:

    when something of this magnitude happens, its probably best to stop the tournament. Who knows what else can happen.

  20. wilyboy says:

    Hopefully, this will lead to a positive reaction from the international community, and I hope action is taken to weed out those responsible.

    Having said that, if Togo can field 11 players, I think it would be a testament to their people if they played, regardless of victory.

  21. That’s just pathetic.

  22. Aaron in StL says:

    Wouldn’t be surprised if the whole tournament is called off.

    The CAF thought Angola could control the criminal element, all that served to do was create a challenge which which unfortunately has been acted on. No reason to keep all these players in harm’s way. If it was that easy already, may be best to send everybody home.

  23. SBGarrett says:

    Angola should have to withdraw… ridiculous.

  24. Mike says:

    I study Angola and am surprised that the government decided to have games in Cabinda. It is the only province that still has some anti-government rebels in operation in Angola (although they have been relatively quiet for a while. It will be interesting to see Angola’s reaction to this.

  25. F**king Turd World!!!

  26. Mike says:

    you “third”?

    Terrorism happen everywhere….what r u trying to say?

  27. BigB says:

    Anyone think Agbossoumonde is going to want to leave the US program and play for Togo now?

  28. What am I trying to say…….TURD WORLD! I am sure you can read!

  29. This Guy says:

    You thought he meant “Third” when he said “Turd”

    You are just lookin’ to start controversy on here.

  30. Charles says:

    My prayers for the victims.

  31. Chris in Belfast says:

    Drogba’s Cote d’Ivoire, not Togo. That’s Adebayor. If you’re going to be insensitive, at least get the players right, goodness.

  32. Felix says:

    This is horrible. I hope that they aren’t more fatalaties.

    But I do have one question, perhaps it is common place for national teams to take buses around Africa, but why weren’t they flying straight into Angola. Was there first game in the Cabinda region?

  33. madmax says:

    The tournament should be canceled.

  34. Austin says:

    Im glad Adebayor wasnt harmed.

    I could only imagine the scene in my head….he must have been dodging bullets and jumpin all over the place because he aint hiding under a seat, lol

    Lord watch over the rest that were hurt.

  35. Pete says:

    Agree with Madmax tournament should be cancelled, if you can’t provide security then why even attempt to play. Luckily, south africa is a bit more civilized.

  36. Mike says:

    Sadly, we’re still reactive when it comes to security and safety issues. Why isn’t there a FIFA-sponsored security policy that governs how these teams travel? Why is a national team allowed to bus it through a war zone to a major football tournament. This is shockingly negligent. Pray for these poor guys and pray this is the end of it.
    link to bit.ly

  37. El Michael says:

    Has he ever considered playing for Togo?

  38. cpd says:

    I’m not so sure that the tournament should be canceled. Do we know if this attack was planned on the Togo team, or if it was just a bad coincidence?

  39. dhines says:

    please fill me in on the ‘terrorist’ activity that you are referring to . . . the abortion bomber in atlanta? when you look at the number of major events held in the USA vs that of africa, you are comparing apples to oranges.

    the USA is a secure nation, even though all the psychos in the world are gunning for us. the same can’t be said for countries in places such as africa.

  40. Fred says:

    Did the rebels know it was a soccer team or was this a random incident?

  41. AngelUSAfan says:

    Really Sad Story and very Horrific. I really concern of what it will be in the World Cup with all this thing happening in the the Continent of Africa. Few Months ago Egypt supported attack a bus of player from Algeria and now we have Togo been attack. Is sad but that how it is in places where Nation, Races, Religion are not respect Mutual. Isreal that is my was move to play in the European League instead of playing the Asian Cup like other Muslin/Arab Nations. I hope the come out with no Casualty. Praying for those who are in Critical Condition…

  42. odsum25 says:

    Cabinda is an exclave and borders Congo-Brazzaville, where the Togolese team was training, as well as the DRC to the south. There may not be any flights from ROC to Cabinda and it would seem to make sense from a logistics standpoint to take the short drive rather than fly to Luanda and connect to Cabinda.

  43. einar says:

    one of the players play for moncao

  44. ZacIndy says:

    yes it was. Cabinda is not part of mainland Angola its a tiny little area on the atlantic coast between the Rep of Congo and Democratic Rep. of the Congo just north of mainland Angola. Rich in oil. Thus the hostilities.

  45. KCB says:

    Hope to never see this in South Africa this summer. It will ruin, if not completely destroy, the chances of another African nation ever getting a World Cup in the future.

  46. culeeero says:

    Well, one, it wasn’t necessarily a war zone. And two, what makes you think there is no security policy? The team was traveling with a security detail!

  47. Nova says:

    Some of the European papers are saying there were multiple buses and the rebels fired a ton of bullets into one of them which was actually carrying the luggage, so luckily there werent more casualties. So it does kind of sound like the rebels knew it these buses had something to do with a team or group

  48. Jonathan says:

    Don’t equate Crime with Terrorism… The last terrorist in South Africa, were led by Nelson Mandela… If there is a terrorist act during the World Cup it won’t be on account that it was held in africa.. however if there’s a crapload of crime, then that’s another story…

  49. inkedAG says:

    This is horrific news and I wish all a well recovery.

  50. J mann says:

    Security for the World Cup is going to be even higher now than what they already had planned.

  51. USA says:

    First of all Terrorism is different than some Rebels opening fire on a team bus. If that ever happened in the US believe me the “Rebels” would be wiped off the map before they could jump out of their Isuzu

  52. Kevin says:

    Does anyone know the rebels’ motive?

  53. UK-DCDave says:

    Here’s part of the latest issued statement NOTE the number of wounded is at 9 – how awful is this – my prayers with them.

    “The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has confirmed the African Cup of Nations will be staged as planned, despite Friday’s deadly attack on the Togo team bus which killed the driver and left nine others wounded.”

    The rebels “flec” stated they are responsible and that this “”This operation is only the start of a series of targeted actions that will continue in all the territory of Cabinda.”

  54. vince says:

    Only foreshadowing of the debacle that is coming in South Africa in June, except every loon in Africa will be there and not just the ones in Angola.

    Stop this joke and move the WC to the US or UK immediately.

  55. James says:

    South Africa is a different country than Angola. It would be like moving the Winter Olympics out of Canada because of the recent drug violence in Mexico.

  56. Monty says:

    Does anyone ever know?

  57. Mark says:

    Tragic. It’s moments like these when I feel so fortunate to live in the US. Country isn’t perfect, but I do enjoy not being shot at on my commutes to and from work.

    Hope those injured make a complete recovery, and I’d like to see Togo play. I agree with some other posters that if they don’t the rebels win.

  58. CornPotatoe says:

    this is the african cup of nations and im sure there will be way more security for the WC, dont worry about security my man

  59. Felix says:

    The laughable/tragic thing about the Eygptian/Algerian bus incident was that it was being reported in the country that the Algerians staged it…….. insane.

  60. Felix says:

    If there was some serious violence in the Balkans (for example) right before the last WC, would you say that they should move it out of Germany????

    I was afraid statements like this would come out. To me its subconscious racism. I’m sorry. Get mad if you like. People are only saying this because its in Africa.

    HOWEVER, in light of the statements by the FLEC rebels, they should move the games out of Cabinda. For the sake of safety.

  61. Felix says:

    I believe its terrorism. They are “terrorizing” innocent non-combatants for the sake of putting their cause in the forefront of the world.

  62. Paul, North Jersey says:

    What a horrible situation. BBC World News said that the CAF was in complete shock that the Togolese team opted to take a bus through the Congo to Angola, instead of flying like everyone else.

  63. Andy says:

    A major tragedy and I wouldn’t blame the team for leaving the tournament. Things like this just put football into perspective; it’s only a game, afterall.

    At a MINIMUM, the games in that region should be moved.

  64. Erik says:

    Not a very good comparison. The US example was a lone bomber who was out of his mind. He didn’t target a team of people and start shooting up the place.

    Germany was Islamic Terrorists who still haunt the world to this day and targeted Jews.

    Africa on the whole (there are some exceptions) is corrupt and full of violence. Why do you think South Africa got the tournament and not another country? They are one of the more civilized parts of the continent.

  65. Erik says:

    They need to play somehow and show support for those injured or killed. But… the tournament is waste.

  66. Alexandria says:

    Nelson Mandela is not nor has he ever been a terrorist. You should re read that colonial history book you’ve got there!How dare you say that, you uneducated tool!

  67. ahm says:

    agreed. mindless violence to scare and intimidate innocent people is just terrorism. crime is robbing a bank

  68. Justin O says:

    Nigeria has more experience holding such events and the nature of the political situation is/was very different there. Something like this was extremely unlikely there, despite some hysterical blogger’s assertions otherwise.

  69. Justin O says:

    Did he say it was the players’ fault? I certainly didn’t interpret his comments that way.

    Just to play devil’s advocate, if something happened to a group of visiting athletes in a bad part of, say, Detroit, DC, NYC, or another major American city, I’m sure it would at least be mentioned that the players were somewhere they should not have been. That wouldn’t be blaming the players. It would just be providing compete information on the situation.

  70. Togo Supporter says:

    The tournament should be moved or cancelled. To play games Sunday after what happened is disgraceful.

  71. DC Josh says:

    First thing to do is pray, second thing to do is make a logical decision. If I were the coach of the team I would hold a team meeting and let them decide whether or not to participate in the tournament.

  72. Josh says:

    As I understand it (someone feel free to correct), Cabinda is rich in oil but also not contiguous with the rest of Angola. Therefore they’re mostly ignored in terms of gov’t services and programs, but the Angolan gov’t is all too happy to take their oil. The rebels are separatists–they want political autonomy and control of the resources.
    link to nytimes.com

    Whatever their motives, shooting innocent bystanders (or anyone else, for that matter) isn’t the best way to go about it. If anything, they’ve managed to piss the gov’t off even more by embarrassing them in front of the world.

  73. Josh says:

    Togo has withdrawn from the Cup: link to news.bbc.co.uk

    Probably the best move given the circumstances. I can’t imagine how they could think about soccer at this time. My thoughts are with them and with the victims.