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Togo Goalkeeper Remains in Intensive Care After Shooting Attack

Togo's reserve soccer goalkeeper Kodjovi Obilale

Togo's reserve goalkeeper Kodjovi Obilale arrives at Lanseria airport after being evacuated for treatment. Some reports suggested he had died. Photograph: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

Doctors treating the Togo goalkeeper who was seriously injured in Friday's terrorist attack have said that it is too soon to discuss his prospects. Kodjovi "Dodji" Obilale is in intensive care in South Africa.

Obilale was shot in the lower back in the attack on the Togo team's bus. He was flown to Johannesburg's Netcare Milpark Hospital for surgery. The trauma specialist Elias Degiannis said Obilale was stable, but sedated and on a respirator.

"The operation went smoothly," said Degiannis, who said that more would be known about the extent of Obilale's injuries in the next day or two, when the player was alert and breathing on his own.

Three people were killed and eight injured in the attack on the Togo bus. Milpark doctors, who had said that Obilale had been hit by two bullets from an assault rifle, said today it had been one bullet, with the second injury caused by a fragment of that bullet.

Ken Boffard, another trauma specialist caring for Obilale, said the player was alert and able to move his legs before surgery, but in great pain.

"It's therefore far too early to be able to assess the extent of his injuries," he said, adding that the 25-year-old, who plays for the French club Pontivy, was "extremely fit and has very good resistance. So, it's very much in his favour that he is an athlete".

The Togo team were ambushed in an attack which was blamed on militants fighting for the independence of the Cabinda enclave. The Angolan ­government built a new stadium in Cabinda for the group stages of the Africa Cup of Nations.

The attack killed a Togo assistant coach, a team spokesman and the Angolan bus driver, according to the team and the Togo government. At least two players had gunshot wounds.

Milpark doctors said they had sent a team to transport another injured person to South Africa, but that the person had died by the time the team landed.


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