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HomeNewsSeveral people injured  following religiously motivated violence

Several people injured  following religiously motivated violence

Google Map of Gunchire Town and the region


By Hailegebriel Endeshaw
Staff Reporter

ADDIS ABABA – (BORKENA) – Several People sustained injuries and properties were damaged following what is said to be a religiously motivated violence that broke out this week in Gunchire Town of Gurage Zone, South Region, sources said.

Residents of Gunchire Town told Deutsche Welle (DW) that people were injured; shops and houses were destroyed as a result of a conflict that erupted in the town.

Following the clash, curfew was imposed across the town starting from tonight on movements of people and vehicles, according to DW. The news source quoted residents as saying that the conflict did not occur out of the blue. It has been fermenting for several months in contention of wearing niqab (veil) and shawl among female students of Gunchire High School, DW said.

The conflict erupted following a clash that had occurred between two young people spilled over into the community, according to residents of the town. A resident who requested anonymity told DW about the causes of the conflicts that occurred between followers of Orthodox Christian and Islamic faiths. He said that “last night a feud, which broke out between two young boys, turned into broader conflicts among the community. Stones were hurled breaking shops and damaging residential houses. 

Meanwhile Hibir Radio said in connection with the issue that the attack deliberately made a target of Orthodox Christians. The Radio said that unknown armed people who do not belong to the area were made to enter into the town and perpetrate attacks against the Orthodox Christians. The demand chanted by the Muslim students of the High School for the closure of school every Friday and making Saturday to be a regular working day and the opposition not to wear school uniforms were among the causes for the conflict, according to Hibir Radio. Voice of Tewahido said on its part that the conflict occurred following hate speeches circulated by social media and protests organized by Muslims, Hibir Radio said.

Chief of the Guraghe Zonal police, Commander Tejie Mohammed told DW that “the issue is under investigation”.

The residents of the Gunchire Town said that the mayhem was followed by loud sporadic gunshots during the night. However, no death casualties were reported, according to eyewitnesses. Residents said that a relative peace has been restored up on the arrival of Federal and Zonal Police Forces in the town. They further said that night curfew has been imposed on human and vehicles movants.

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