At least 260 people killed as rebel group attacks civilians in Ethiopia

At least 260 people killed as rebel group attacks civilians in Ethiopia

At least 260 civilians were killed due to an attack launched by armed men in Oromia region of western Ethiopia.

According to eyewitnesses, the victims of the attack, which occurred Saturday, were from Amhara ethnic group, a minority in the region.

One resident put the number of dead at 260 and another said it was 320, making the attack one of the deadliest on civilians in Ethiopia for years, noting that the attackers belonged to an ethnic Oromo rebel group called the Oromo Liberation Army.

There is at present no indication that the attack is directly linked to the conflict in the northern Tigray region that began in November 2020, which has killed thousands and displaced millions of Ethiopians.

Ethiopia has seen a resurgence of ethnic conflict started by a series of ethnicity-based rebel groups opposing Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who assumed office in 2018. Ahmed has been trying to end the system of “ethnic federalism” and ethnicity-based politics that have been in place since the 1990s, which has been met with opposition from certain heavily ethnicity-based political groups and politicians. Some analysts suspect the US plays a role in supporting the rebel groups, a suspicion further bolstered by recent US attempts to place sanctions on countries supporting the Addis Ababa government.

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