At least 15 civilians killed by armed attack in W. Ethiopia: EHRC

ADDIS ABABA: The latest of recurrent armed attacks on Friday killed at least 15 civilians in a Western part of Ethiopia, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said.

The latest of the recurrent armed attacks that targeted civilians occurred on Friday in Ethiopia’s western Benishangul-Gumuz regional state, the Commission said in a statement sent to the Ethiopian Informer (EI) over the weekend.

The EHRC stressed that it’s “deeply alarmed by the surge in attacks against civilians in Benishangul-Gumuz Region.”

“On September 25, armed assailants killed at least 15 civilians in Benishangul-Gumuz Region’s Metekel Zone in a pre-dawn attack, the latest in a spate of targeted killings of civilians over the month of September,” the Commission said in a statement issued on Saturday.

The attack took place in a riverside village near Manbuk, in Metekel Zone’s Dangur Woreda, regional security sources told EHRC. Four of the victims were women. One other person sustained non-life threatening wounds, it was noted.

“Civilians are being subjected to repeated attacks with unmitigated cruelty in Benishangul-Gumuz. Federal and regional authorities should take the required steps to enforce the rule of law and bring perpetrators to account,” the statement quoted Daniel Bekele, EHRC’s chief commissioner, as saying.

Security sources said a shootout ensued between the gunmen and members of the Ethiopian National Defense Force, until soldiers restored calm by the afternoon.

Four districts, including Dangur, were placed under a command post as of September 24 for a period of two months.

According to the EHRC, Friday’s attacks followed at least two instances of violence in the same zone on September 6 and September 7-13 that resulted in the killings of civilians and displacement of over 300 people.

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