Dozens of people died in a dawn attack on Wednesday by unknown gunmen in Ethiopia’s western region of Benishangul-Gumuz, residents told Reuters, the latest deadly violence in the area.
One farmer in the town of Bulen told Reuters he saw dozens of dead bodies in a field near his home. Another resident of the town, who said armed men stormed the area around 6.00 a.m. (0300 GMT), told Reuters he counted 20 bodies in a different location.
A local medic told Reuters that he and colleagues and treated 38 injured people, most suffering from gunshot wounds.
“We weren’t prepared for this and we are out of medicine,” a nurse at the same facility told Reuters, adding that a five-year-old child died while being transferred to the clinic.
An official from the region who spoke on condition of anonymity said authorities were aware of the attack and were verifying details of the identities of the attackers and the victims, but did not give further information.
The attack came the day after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, the military’s chief of staff Birhanu Jula and other senior federal officials visited the region on Tuesday to urge peace after a number of deadly incidents between rival ethnic groups in recent months.
The latest major attack in the area was on November 14, when gunmen attacked a bus and killed 34 people.