According to Amnesty International, gunmen have killed at least 54 people and set fire to more than 20 homes in what authorities call a “horrendous” attack in western Ethiopia.
Officials say the rebel Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) is to blame for the attack in Oromia state. According to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, the attacks may have been identity-based.
The violence occurred in an area of western Ethiopia known as Wollega and involved up to 60 armed and unarmed assailants, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said. Residents said dozens were rounded up and shot and their livestock was stolen.
The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said members of the Amhara ethnic group, the country’s second-largest ethnic group, were targeted. The Amhara branch of the ruling Prosperity Party also released a statement supporting the EHRC’s report.
A survivor told AFP news agency that security forces stationed in the area left and the OLA then rounded up civilians.
“After collecting us, they opened fire on us, and then afterward looted cattle and burnt down houses,” they said.
Abiy Ahmed later said that “measures have started to be taken against the attackers”.