Ethnic attack in Ethiopia kills over 200, witnesses say

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An ethnic attack in Ethiopia has killed more than 200 people in the Oromia region, according to witnesses.

Witnesses accuse a rebel group, the Oromo Liberation Army, of being responsible for the attack, but the group denies it.

A witness, Abdul-Seid Tahir, said he counted a total of 230 bodies after the attack, and said it was ‘the deadliest attack on civilians we have seen in our lifetime’ .

“I counted 230 bodies. I fear this is the deadliest attack on civilians we have seen in our lifetimes,” Tahir said. “We are burying them in mass graves and we are continuing to collect bodies. Federal army units have now arrived, but we fear the attacks will continue if they leave.”

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A man is silhouetted in a patchwork of harvested teff grain fields near the crash site of an Ethiopian Airways operated Boeing 737 MAX on March 16, 2019, in the village of Hama Quntushele near Bishoftu in the region of 'Oromia.
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A man is silhouetted in a patchwork of harvested teff grain fields near the crash site of an Ethiopian Airways operated Boeing 737 MAX on March 16, 2019, in the village of Hama Quntushele near Bishoftu in the region of ‘Oromia.
(Tony Karumba/AFP via Getty Images)

Witnesses say the attack was mainly carried out against people belonging to the Amhara ethnic group

Another witness who asked to be identified by first name, Shambel, said the local Amhara community was desperately trying to be relocated “before another round of killings occurs”.

Shambel said the area’s ethnic Amhara were “killed like chickens”.

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Witnesses say the Oromo Liberation Army was responsible for carrying out the attack, but the group denies this.

“The attack you are referring to was committed by the army and local regime militia as they retreated from their camp in Gimbi following our recent offensive,” the army spokesman said. , Odaa Tarbii. “They fled to an area called Tole, where they attacked local people and destroyed their property in retaliation for their supposed support for the OLA. Our fighters hadn’t even reached that area when the attacks took place. “

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The country is currently experiencing widespread ethnic tensions over political tensions and historical grievances. The Amhara people are considered the second largest ethnic group in the country and have often been the target of attacks in areas like Oromia.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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