armed men

An armed attack in Ethiopia’s Benishangul-Gumuz regional state has killed at least 20 civilians, an Ethiopian official said on Friday.

Demlew Bengez, Chief Administrator, Dengez locality in Benishangul-Gumuz regional state, said an armed attack by unidentified gunmen on Friday morning has left at least 20 people dead, reported state media outlet Amhara Mass Media Agency (AMMA).

“The gunmen carried out the attack around 4 a.m. on Friday morning. The fact that the armed attack happened when it was still dark made it difficult to prevent the attack and find the attackers,” said Bengez.

In a press statement, Benishangul-Gumuz regional state communications affairs department, said a total of 371 people have been arrested for suspected involvement in recent deadly violence.

The statement further said scores of illicit light firearms have been confiscated from the suspects.

The 371 individuals are suspected to have involved in deadly violence earlier this month that left scores of civilians dead in Guba and Bulen localities of Benishangul-Gumuz regional state.

Ethiopian officials have previously stated the repeated armed attacks have an ethnic focus with the main targets being ethnic Amharas.

Ethnic violence between members of various ethnic groups in Benishangul-Gumuz regional state in recent months has left hundreds dead and thousands displaced. The clashes are mainly over access to power and land resources.

Benishangul-Gumuz Regional State, located along the Ethiopia-Sudan border, hosts Ethiopia’s largest development project the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which is under construction on the Blue Nile River with a construction cost of close to 5 billion U.S. dollars.

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