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News: Unidentified armed group kills eight, injures many in brutal attack in East Gurage Zone

The town of Butajira functions as the administrative center for the East Gurage Zone (Photo: Butajira Communication Office/Facebook)

Addis Abeba – At least eight individuals were killed and several others were injured in an attack carried out by an unidentified armed group in the East Gurage Zone’s East Meskan Woreda in the newly structured Central Ethiopia Regional State.

According to residents who spoke with Addis Standard, the attack took place on 2 October, 2023, in Beche Bulchano and East Dida Kebeles, which are located on the borders of East Meskan Woreda and Mareko Special Woreda.

East Meskan Woreda lies adjacent to Mareko Special Woreda. Mareko Special Woreda, situated in the Gurage Zone, also falls under the administrative jurisdiction of the same region.

An anonymous resident from Jayro, a town in Beche Bulchano Kebele, informed Addis Standard that the armed group targeted residents who had gathered for a coffee ceremony at a home around 1:00 p.m. The resident stated that the attack resulted in the immediate death of a mother and her child. Additionally, a pregnant woman and her child were injured, and an elderly man sustained a leg wound. The deceased were transferred to a nearby hospital, while the injured are currently receiving treatment at Adama Referral Hospital.

The resident alleged that the attack specifically targeted residents of Mareko. After the incident, the attackers reportedly fled the area using government vehicles, according to the resident from Jayro.

Another resident from Saya town, located in East Dida Kebele, told Addis Standard that another attack occurred on the same day around 4:00 pm while most residents were asleep during heavy rainfall. The eyewitness stated that the armed group hid on a nearby farm and carried out the attack during the evening when it was raining and everyone was asleep.

Degaga Endashaw, the head of communications for Mareko Special Woreda, confirmed to Addis Standard that multiple civilians were killed and homes were destroyed. He alleged that the armed groups had support from the East Meskan Woreda Administration.

In July 2023, Addis Standard reported on an armed attack in East Meskan Woreda, Gurage Zone, where seven people were killed and several others were injured while traveling to the market. Residents claimed that the attackers were from Mareko special woreda, as they ambushed the victims, forced them off their transportation, and shot them at close range, including a pregnant woman. AS

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