Eritrea blames US 'conspiracy' for migrant boat tragedy
NAIROBI (AFP) - Eritrea's government has issued a furious attack on the United States, blaming it for the deaths of more than 300 men, women and children last week in a shipwreck off the Italian island of Lampedusa.
A statement from Asmara accused the country's enemies of using human trafficking as a "ploy" aimed at "paralysing the indomitable people and government of Eritrea".
"The prime responsibility for the gross loss of human life... squarely rests on the US administration that assigns agents of international and regional bodies, in addition to deploying various officials and spy agencies of different governments," said the statement, which was released on Wednesday.
It did not make fully clear how Washington was responsible for last Thursday's shipwreck off Italy, which saw scores of Eritrean migrants drowning near the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa after their boat caught fire.