Air strike kills at least 26 in Ethiopia’s Amhara


A suspected air strike in Ethiopia’s Amhara region has killed at least 26 people, a hospital official said.

The strike in Finote Selam on Sunday was among the most deadly in the region, where the army has been fighting Fano, a paramilitary force.

Ethiopia’s human rights commission has expressed “grave concern” over the “deadly hostilities”.

PM Abiy Ahmed’s government imposed a six-month state of emergency across Amhara on 4 August.

The fighting has been fuelled by Fano accusations that the federal government is trying to weaken Amhara’s defences.

It is Ethiopia’s worst crisis since a civil war in the northern Tigray region ended in November. Fano backed federal forces during the Tigray war.

Fano has refused to disarm, prompting the federal government to deploy the army.

The hospital official told the AFP news agency that all the victims who arrived on Sunday were “wearing either casual civilian clothing or Sunday traditional clothes”.

“The casualties range from a 13-year-old child to the elderly,” he said. “I didn’t get the chance to see what caused the explosion… but residents said it was a drone strike”.

A university teacher who was visiting a relative in the hospital told Reuters he had seen 14 bodies there and been told by a medical worker that another 12 had died.

Fifty-five more are being treated for injuries sustained in the explosion, a hospital official said.

The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) called on “conflicting parties to immediately end” all alleged violations of human rights laws.

The violence has led to drastic action, such as the Israeli government evacuating its citizens and Jewish people from the area last week. Amhara is home to thousands of members of the Jewish community.

The EHRC said has documented the killing of protesters, the looting of weapons and ammunition from police stations and prisons, and the targeting of Amhara regional administration officials.