Three people were killed in Nekemte town, 328km west of Addis Ababa today as violence on “ethnic and political grounds” continued unabated in parts of the country. Tensions and panic continued to grip as the three individuals allegedly in possessions of bombs at religious Ireecha celebration in Nekemte town were killed today. A resident of the town told the Amharic service of the Voice of America that he witnessed the individuals who he said were not from the area being attacked by “security forces and young people responsible for organizing the event”. He heard people saying that the persons intended to strike the celebrations and that they were admitted to hospital after the attack, he said. He said he was not aware that they were dead, except one of the men that had been killed in a smoke bomb.
Amdom Gebreselassie, public relation of the Arena Tigray Party says that the victims were singled out because they were Tigrayans. Amdom said based on the information he gathered from the students in the town, the attack was conducted by a mob in the presence of the region’s security forces. Amdom said students of Tigrayan origin are fleeing the area.
Meanwhile, eight people considered as agent provocateurs were arrested in Oromia region’s Metu town and its environs, possessing the Oromo Liberation Front flag, bombs, grenades, revolvers and brochures, according to the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation news. The individuals were trying to provoke young people in the town and woreda to manifest violently and destabilize the situation in the region, according to Commander Admassu Eshetu, Illi Ababour zone police department head who spoke to the EBC. According to some reports, the detained are all from Tigray region.
(Update: Nekemete town police department condemned distorted reports about the event which says the attack was ethnically motivated. Confirming that three people died and 10 wounded, Commander Getachew Yitana, head of the police department, said two of the dead were Amhara and one Oromo ethnic group. Among the injured that five of were Oromo, three Guraghe, and two Tigrayans.)