eritrea ethiopia
[Representational Image] Eritrea has reportedly accused Ethiopia of launching an attack on the countries' contested border on Sunday. Picture: Ethiopian herders walk their camels past an abandoned military tank in Dolo Ado near the Ethiopia-Somalia border, August 10, 2011.Reuters

Eritrea has reportedly accused Ethiopia of launching an attack on the countries' contested border on Sunday. But Ethiopia has said they have no report of any such fighting.

According to Agence-France Presse, Eritrea's Ministry of Information has said in a statement its arch-rival Ethiopia "unleashed an attack against Eritrea on the Tsorona Central Front."

But Ethiopian government spokesperson Getachew Redda said there were "no clashes that we know of".

Eritrea became independent in 1991 after being at war with Ethiopia for three decades. But the two countries again got into a battle in 1998-2000. Tensions continue to exist between the two countries along the heavily-militarised border.

The conflict that took place in 2000 claimed the lives of at least 80,000 people.

The Algiers peace agreement signed by both the countries in 2000 brought an end to the two-year war. Eritrea and Ethiopia agreed to abide by an independent boundary commission's ruling on the location of the frontier.

But, following the ruling that the disputed town of Badme was in Eritrea, Ethiopia disagreed with the border demarcation and called for a discussion before the decision could be implemented. Eritrea rejected the proposal and since then both countries have neither been at war nor at peace, the BBC reported.

"The purpose and ramifications of this attack are not clear," Eritrea was quoted as saying about the recent development. The government added that it "will issue further statements on the unfolding situation."

According to the BBC report, residents close to the Ethiopian side of the border heard gunshots and reportedly saw large troops and artillery moving towards the border.