By Staff Reporter
ADDIS ABABA – (BORKENA) – Militant group which calls itself Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) and named by the government as Shene was said to rob banks and private market stalls in localities of Kellem-Wollega Zone, sources said. Residents of the areas told Addis Maleda that Shene committed the robbery last Monday, 10 July 2023 in Mechara, Seden Chenka and Hawa-Gelan Woredas in Kellem-Wollega Zone of Oromia Region.
People told Addis Maleda on condition of anonymity that there was heavy fighting between Shene and the Federal Defence Force on 11 July 2023.
The armed militants were ransacking heavily banks and private business centres in Mechara Town in particular, according to eyewitnesses.
However, it was not possible to identify the extent of the robbery. The residents said that innocent people lost their lives and physical injuries were inflicted in the fight that was held between the government security forces and OLF-Shene militants.
Similarly there was a heavy exchange of fire between National Defence Force and OLF-Shene militants at the Town of Erob Market, a spot on the way to Dembidollo, in the same Zone. The residents told Addis Maleda that OLF-Shene militants might capture members of the National Defence Force including their weaponry.
The residents further said that the armed militants have a large camp near Mechara Town and there is also another army camp of the National Defence Force around the Town.
Many of the residents in the area reportedly evacuated due to the security problem in the area. There are only a few citizens still residing in the area, according to the news source.
The wide presence of OLF-Shene in the area has reportedly caused high tension. The armed militants kidnap for the first time 18 students of Dembidollo University while they were travelling back home during the unrest erupted in January 2020, sources said. Nothing has so far been known about the whereabouts of the kidnapped students except one who escaped the hostage.
Attempts made by Addis Maleda to get views of the government officials in the area were not successful.
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