Reports suggest several people have been killed in the western part of Oromia, Ethiopia’s most populous state, in attacks authorities say were carried out by members of an armed group, the Oromo Liberation Army.
The killings come on the heel of communal violence and ethnic-related attacks that continue to pose challenges for the government of Nobel Peace Prize-winning Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
The PM’s office has shared condolences with 10 victims’ families, but activists say the exact number of fatalities is hard to verify as there could be more than 100 dead.
Oromia’s regional government released a statement calling what happened on Sunday a “terror act”.
A spokesman told local media that a team had been sent to Guliso district – the location of the violence – to investigate, anticipating the death toll could be “high”.
Government-run media in Amhara – the second-most populous state in Ethiopia – reported that the perpetrators rounded up about 200 people before the attack. Dozens of houses were also set on fire, it said.
In the past two months, scores of civilians have been killed in at least three of Ethiopia’s 10 states in attacks or ethnic-related violence.