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HomeLatestMachine gun firing echoes across Ataye Town  

Machine gun firing echoes across Ataye Town  

Photo : file /SM

By Hailegebriel Endeshaw
Staff Reporter

ADDIS ABABA – (BORKENA) – Machine gun firing started at dusk yesterday in Ataye Town, North Shewa Zone of Amhara Regional State lasted until dawn, sources said. Ethiopian Insider said quoting six eyewitness residents of Ataye Town that the firing, which was supported by heavy weaponry, was heard starting from early in the morning.  Town mayor, Asalif Deribe, confirmed the firing but could not identify from which side the firing was coming.

Town residents said that the firing started last Monday early in the morning in Ataye Town of Efrata-Gidim Woreda. The first shot was heard at a spot named Alela, near the Office of Efrata-Gidim Wereda. Alela Kebele is bordered by other Kebeles in Jille and Timuga Wereda of the Administration of Oromo Nationals in Amhara Regional State. The residents of the town said that the gunfire started from this Kebele and expanded to the center of the town as hours ticking on. A town resident who has been engaged in trading told Ethiopian Insider, “the gunfire was heard as we were moving to our regular work and while we were walking children to school”.

The shooting, which the dwellers said was supported by heavy machine guns and other weaponry, was heard from all directions of the surrounding mountains. Mayor of the Town, Asalif Deribe told Ethiopia Insider that the firing was heard from all directions. “There are fire exchanges around Ataye,” he said. 

The mayor said that as the source of the firing has not yet been identified, it was difficult for him to say who was shooting. In any case, there are fire exchanges around the town, according to him. Ethiopian Insider, however, quoted town residents that the firings were coming from an armed shene group. A resident of the town who was approached by Ethiopia Insider said, “their way of firing, the conditions they utilize opportunities were in an organized manner”.

Others who tried to respond by firing back said that the shooting from the other side was beyond their capacity. As per the explanation of the residents, the firing was opened following the evacuation of the Amhara Special Force, which had been deployed in the mountains around the town.

The residents said that the recent operation launched by the government in connection with the restructuring of the Amhara Special force has caused the evacuation of the force from the deployment area. A resident who requested anonymity said that the Region, by taking into consideration the existing situation, had deployed the Special Forces in the area. Following the recent moves being taken to disarm the Special Force and the militias, the Amhara Special Forces evacuated the mountainous localities. They have gone to unknown areas. There are also others who have gone to their families, according to the residents.

Ataye Town, which is located 271 km from Addis Ababa, has been attacked over ten times and smashed repeatedly in the past years, Ethiopia Insider said.  


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