Togolese Soccer team attack

Team Togo pulls out of CAF

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • NEW: Angola news agency: Togo assistant coach Hamelet Abulo, Togolese journalist dead
  • Togo team pulls out of Cup of Nations, according captain Emmanuel Adebayor
  • Togo team bus was shot at by rebel fighters on way to tournament in Angola
  • African football body says tournament will go ahead despite the attack

(CNN) - The assistant coach of Togo's national soccer team is among the victims of Friday's machine-gun attack on a bus carrying the squad to a tournament in Angola, the country's official news agency reported Saturday.

As many as three people were killed and nine injured in the strike, which prompted the team to decide Saturday to pull out of the Africa Cup of Nations tourney.

Angola's official ANGOP news agency reported that assistant coach Hamelet Abulo and a Togolese journalist died Saturday. There were conflicting reports about the driver of the bus. Fraser Lamond - regional medical director of SOS International, a group that transports injured people to hospitals - said the driver was among the dead, but Togo government officials indicated he was still alive.

Lamond said a third wounded person was being evacuated to Johannesburg, South Africa, for treatment. ANGOP reported that goalkeeper Kodjovi Kadja, was sent to South Africa for an injury to his back. It was unclear whether Lamond and ANGOP were referring to the same person.

Video: Soccer players ambushed Video: Togo soccer team attacked Video: Togo team attacked Map: Team attacked in Angola

The team was headed to Angola for the tournament when it was attacked near the border between Angola and the Republic of Congo. An armed wing of a separatist group - the Forces for Liberation of the State of Cabinda (FLEC) - has claimed responsibility for the attack and has threatened to strike again. CNN cannot independently verify the claim.

Emmanuel Adebayor, the Togo team's captain and a star for England's Manchester City team, said he and his teammates met Saturday morning "before deciding that they wished to pull out of the tournament, " the Manchester City Football Club Web site said. He was not injured in the attack, Manchester City said.

"It's as if we've gone to war, " said goalkeeper Kossi Agassa. "It's deplorable for Africa. I don't know what other countries will decide, but it's hard. Too hard for us footballers."

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