Gunmen in an area plagued by separatist violence opened fire on Friday on a bus carrying Togo's national football team to a tournament in this southwest African country, wounding at least six people including two footballers, an official said.
Some of the players said they wanted to pull out of the African Cup of Nations tournament following the violence, but an official in Angola said it would go ahead as planned.
In the West African nation of Togo, football federation vice-president Gabriel Ameyi said back-up goalkeeper Obilale Kossi and central defender Serge Akakpo were among those hurt. The team's top player, Emmanuel Adebayor, was unharmed, according to his club Manchester City.
``We were machine-gunned like dogs,'' Togo player Thomas Dossevi, who plays for French club Nantes, told Radio Monte Carlo. ``They were armed to the teeth ... We spent 20 minutes underneath the seats of the bus.''
The 16-team African championship starts on Sunday in Angola, with Togo due to play its opening match on Monday against Ghana in Cabinda.
A senior member of the local organising committee, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the tournament would go ahead as planned. He said Didier Drogba and his teammates from Ivory Coast, considered the top African team, had arrived in Cabinda early Friday.
Togo's national team had just crossed the border into Angola when the bus came under fire. Ameyi said the team shown have flown to Angola instead of travelling by road.
``We were surrounded by police buses. Everything looked fine and we came under heavy fire. Everyone scrambled under the seats trying to protect themselves,'' Dossevi told Infosport television in France. ``It lasted at least a quarter of an hour with the police responding.''
The wounded were taken to a hospital in Cabinda, Angola's main oil-producing region that has been plagued by unrest. Portugal's state-run Lusa news agency said the region's main separatist group, FLEC, claimed it had carried out the attack in a communication sent to the agency.
It was the second major gun attack on a sports team in less than a year. Several players were injured and six policemen were killed when gunmen opened fire on the Sri Lankan cricket team's bus in Lahore, Pakistan, in March 2009.