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6:30 pm - Wednesday October 17, 2018

Toll from Ethiopia bloodshed at least 58 - Rappler

People who fled the violence in the outskirts of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa sit at a youth centre used as a temporary shelter, on September 18, 2018.
The state-owned Ethiopia News Agency (ENA) said on September 17 an organised mob carried out a spree of murder and looting in and around Burayu town, leaving 23 people dead and 886 displaced, citing Oromia regional police commissioner Alemayehu Ejigu. / AFP PHOTO

The cited figure is more than double government estimates, and could be as high as 65, according to another source

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia – At least 58 people were killed during a weekend of ethnic violence in Ethiopia’s capital, an Amnesty International researcher told the Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Wednesday, September 19, citing a figure more than double the government estimate of 23 dead.

Another source involved in the investigation, who saw and counted the corpses, told AFP a total of 65 people had been killed, mostly in the city’s western suburbs.

“The 65 cases are from Burayu, Ashewa Meda, Kolfe and Kirkos,” said the source on condition of anonymity, referring to three western areas and one in the centre.

The victims were either stabbed or died after being beaten with sticks and rocks. None had been shot and the toll does not include 5 alleged looters killed by police on Monday.

Fisseha Tekle, a Nairobi-based researcher with Amnesty International, said he had compiled a similar tally of 58 dead.

Residents told Amnesty International they saw “eight dead bodies on Friday, 21 on Saturday, on Sunday they saw about 11 people and on Monday the number of dead bodies they’ve seen were 18,” Fisseha said.

Government spokesmen could not immediately be reached for comment.

The violence began last week in the run-up to Saturday’s return of the once-banned Oromo Liberation Front, a rebel group that returned to Ethiopia following political reforms introduced by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. – Rappler.com

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