Attack in Ethiopia's Oromiya region kills at least 260

Earlier on Monday, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed had condemned what he described as "horrific acts" in Oromiya, without giving details.

 A burned tank stands near the town of Adwa, Tigray region, Ethiopia, March 18, 2021 (photo credit: BAZ RATNER/REUTERS)
A burned tank stands near the town of Adwa, Tigray region, Ethiopia, March 18, 2021
(photo credit: BAZ RATNER/REUTERS)

An attack by gunmen in Ethiopia's western Oromiya region left at least 260 civilians dead on Saturday, according to two residents who gave detailed accounts on Monday of how they had taken part in burying corpses in mass graves.

One resident gave a figure of 260 dead, the other said 320. They declined to give their names because of fears for their safety.

Earlier on Monday, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed had condemned what he described as "horrific acts" in Oromiya, without giving details.

"Attacks on innocent civilians and destruction of livelihoods by illegal and irregular forces is unacceptable," he said on Twitter.

Oromiya

On Sunday, the head of Ethiopia's state-appointed human rights commission had said a group called the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) was responsible for a "deadly attack and destruction" in Oromiya, without giving details. The OLA denied this and said forces aligned with the government were responsible.

Villagers return from a market to Yechila town in south central Tigray walking past scores of burned vehicles, in Tigray, Ethiopia, July 10, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/GIULIA PARAVICINI/FILE PHOTO)Villagers return from a market to Yechila town in south central Tigray walking past scores of burned vehicles, in Tigray, Ethiopia, July 10, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/GIULIA PARAVICINI/FILE PHOTO)

Both of the residents who spoke to Reuters said the victims of the attack were ethnic Amharas.

Oromiya regional spokesperson Hailu Adugna, Ethiopian military spokesman Colonel Getnet Adane, Abiy's spokeswoman Billene Seyoum and government spokesman Legesse Tulu did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.