Unable to resist Ethiopian Defense Force, TPLF forces were disoriented and scattered in Tigray region. Two security incidents that claimed civilian lives in the same week. Is it now targeting civilians?
At least six recent university graduates were killed in the Tigray region of Ethiopia when “unidentified” gunmen, as BBC Amharic service reported, opened fire on a bus that was travelling from Mekelle to Addis Ababa. Female students were among the victims.
Over ten other students are wounded from the same attack.
The students were returning to their parents after the graduation ceremony.
The attack happened on Thursday around 1 p.m. local time near Hewane town in a place called Adi Mesno. The bus that came under attack was carrying about 41 recent university graduates whose convocation ceremony was earlier in that week.
Those “unidentified gunmen” who carried out the attack were estimated between 30 and 50, according to a student who survived from it.
BBC Amharic cited eyewitnesses who are also survivors of the attack. The report also said that hospital sources in Woldia and Kobo were contacted.
Two members of the Ethiopian Defense Force who were escorting the bus were killed, the source added.
A psychology graduate from Adigrat University who also sustained a wound in the leg from the attack, as reported by BBC Amharic, anonymously said that he saw six students killed and seven others wounded.
One student who survived the attack said that he remembers that he heard that there was road closure when the bus reached Adi Gudom. A group of youth were closing the road and members of the Defense Force managed to get the road open. And then around 1 p.m. local time gunmen stopped the bus near Adi Mesno.
The two defense forces alighted from the bus to talk to the gunmen and then there was gunfire. “Bullets were coming from different directions. We know nothing…,” said the student whose name is undisclosed. He saw six students who were killed. The bus and properties of students were damaged too, he added.
Mekelle University students’ president and National students union vice president, Abrehaley Arefayne, on his part cited information he got from students and said that he heard seven students were killed and over ten others wounded. He also confirmed that two Ethiopian Defense Force members were killed. Those wounded were taken to Woldia Hospital, he added.
Bodies of those killed in the attack were not taken to the hospital, the source added.
Kassahun Addisu, Director of Kobo Hospital, where some students wounded in the attack were taken, is cited as saying that on Friday evening about 35 students were in the hospital, and 12 of them were wounded. Their conditions are said to be not life-threatening.
Government media did not cover the story at this writing. The Provisional Administration in Tigray and/or the Federal government of Ethiopia did not release a statement regarding the incident,too.
In the same week, Yemane Niguse who was an ethnic Tigray activist and one of the co-founders of the Fenkil Tigray Movement ,which advocated for Tigray free from TPLF repression and the TPLF party itself, was assassinated near Hewane along with two escorts.
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