ADDIS ABABA (AFP) — Dozens of civilians were shot dead in ethnic clashes in Ethiopia’s northern Amhara state, a regional official said Friday, describing the attacks as retaliation for earlier violence.
“Search and rescue missions are still ongoing to find victims and survivors from Monday’s attack, but I can confirm the death toll runs into several dozen,” Geleta Hailu, the director of communications in neighboring Benishangul Gumuz state, told AFP.
He did not provide an exact death toll but said more than 80 people were injured in the assault on the Gumuz ethnicity in the state, and 90 others had taken shelter in a local school.
The gunmen have not been identified but Geleta said the attacks appeared to be retribution for the killing of at least 21 people in separate clashes last weekend between the Gumuz and Amhara ethnic groups in Benishangul Gumuz state.
Homes were also torched in that outbreak of violence, which local officials said began as a dispute between two laborers.
Communal clashes, typically sparked by disputes over land, are common in Ethiopia where a fast growing population has added to pressures on farmers in a country of sharp ethnic divisions.
The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.
We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.
Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.