18 dead as thousands flee clashes in Somali, Oromo regions
Thousands of people are fleeing Ethiopia’s Somali region following clashes in recent days.
Eighteen people are confirmed dead following protests which erupted in towns in the east of the country, Adisu Arega, spokesperson of the Oromia regional government, said.
He said 12 of the dead were ethnic Somalis while the remaining six were Oromos.
The spokesman said that the trouble began when a special unit of police from the neighbouring Somali region arrested officials from Oromia, who were then killed.
This sparked protests and clashes between the two communities in eastern Ethiopia.
The spokesperson of the Oromia regional government alleged that a special police and militia force of the Somali regional government as well as armed soldiers from the republic of Somalia had carried out killings deep inside Oromia region.
Mohammed Bile, an adviser of the Somali regional state president, said that the Oromo regional police were carrying out attacks against civilians at the regions common border.