Both landlocked Ethiopia and neighboring Eritrea (on the Red Sea), feuding over currency and trade issues, laid claim to a 150-square mile border region known as Badame in northern Ethiopia. There on May 6, 1998, fighting erupted between Eritrean and Ethiopian troops, and within a month both sides were exchanging artillery and tank fire. Eritrean aircraft bombed the northern Ethiopian towns of Adigrat and Mekele, while ground troops clashed on three fronts (one close to the Red Sea). Ethiopia retaliated with air strikes on Eritrea's capital, Asmara. By late June 1998, the intense fighting had killed hundreds of people (many were civilians), and diplomatic peace efforts by the United States and Rwanda floundered; both sides finally accepted a proposal to halt air raids, but in October 1998, they were moving men and arms to the border. In February 1999, serious fighting resumed, involving artillery, tanks, ground troops, and warplanes, over the claims of both countries to Badame; both sides suffered heavy losses, with Ethiopia claiming "significant victories," which Eritrea disclaimed.