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Residents of Keranio town, Amhara region, in shock a week after seven killed by ‘government forces’

Keranio town (Photo: Social Media)

Addis Abeba – In the wake of a recent incident in the town of Keranio, reportedly involving “members of governmental security forces,” local residents expressed ongoing anxieties.

The incident, which occurred on 14 June, 2024, resulted in the deaths of seven individuals and injuries to two others.

The attack was allegedly conducted by “government forces,” according to residents.

A resident interviewed by Addis Standard stated, “We are still in a state of worry,” adding, “We don’t know what will happen next.”

According to this resident, activities in the town have slowed down since the attack.

“The people are desperate,” he stated. “The fear still lingers among us.”

Residents and eyewitnesses report that the attack in the small town of Keranio, located in East Gojjam Zone, occurred while villagers were digging a burial pit at the Debre Keranio Medhanialem grounds.

They stated that five individuals died on the spot, with one person succumbing to injuries at the hospital, and a church student also found deceased.

An eyewitness, who claimed to be among the first to reach the scene and remove the bodies, informed Addis Standard that “three survivors were found covered in the bodies of those killed after the attack.”

The resident reported that military and government officials arrived two days after the attack, but “they did not come to talk to the people, but to apprehend an armed man who was in the town.”

He further claimed, “After apprehending him, they killed him outside the town. The individual who was killed was a fighter, armed with a weapon.”

Residents additionally reported the current absence of formal governmental structures within the town.

An informant explained, “A temporary conflict resolution committee, elected by the populace and established by Fano, has been formed to manage the town’s affairs.”

In another attack on 16 June, 2024, in the town of Juga, Jabitehna district, West Gojam zone, at least 13 people were killed.

An eyewitness, who asked to remain anonymous, reported that before the killings, there was a 20-minute fight between Fano militants and the Defense Forces in an area called Dembecha Ber.

The informant continued, stating that the Fano militants retreated after a 20-minute exchange of fire. He added that after the Fano retreat, “members of the Defense Forces retaliated by killing residents.”

Eyewitnesses who were close to the scene of the murders explained, “At a hotel called Goh, they killed youths, government workers, bankers, and teachers—12 people in total—in front of the public.”

Including the 12 people, among them a mentally ill woman, killed at Goh Hotel, two residents told the BBC that “a total of 13 people were killed in the town.” Residents also reported that two other individuals were injured.

“We have a confirmed list of 13 dead and two wounded,” stated Abebaw Dessalegn, who is elected by the town residents for the House of Peoples’ Representatives. “We expect the death toll to rise.” AS

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