Ethiopian government authorities did not confirm or deny latest heavy weaponry shillings in Debre Markos
In the latest series of conflicts between the Ethiopian Defense Force and Fano forces in Debre Markos, a major city in the Amhara region of Ethiopia, civilian casualties have been reported.
As per a report by BBC Amharic service, which interviewed local residents, the fighting commenced around 9:30 a.m. and continued throughout the day until evening. It originated near the Gutera locality and eventually spread to other parts of the city. According to the residents who spoke with BBC Amharic, the sound of gunfire and heavy weaponry was heard from three different directions. These residents chose to remain anonymous out of fear of potential government reprisals.
Gunfire ceased around 7:30 p.m. after Fano forces retreated from the city, allowing the Ethiopian Defense Forces to enter. Residents claimed that government forces deployed heavy weaponry, including mortars and ZU-23, primarily targeting residential areas.
Debre Markos has five exits, and heavy weaponry shelling occurred from three of these exits, causing the closure of local businesses during the conflict between the Fano Forces and the Defense Force.
At least five people are reported to have lost their lives, as stated by the BBC based on eyewitness accounts. However, it is plausible that the actual death toll is higher. Internet access in the region has been shut down for several months, and journalists and human rights activists are still barred from entering the region due to a state of emergency imposed by the government in August.
Funerals for three of the victims took place in the city on Friday, while Ethiopian government authorities, at both regional and federal levels, have remained tight-lipped about casualties. BBC Amharic reported reaching out to government authorities, including hospitals, but received no response.
Debre Markos has been a recurring battleground for Fano forces and Ethiopian government soldiers, with allegations of crimes against humanity emerging since the conflict began in April. The United Nations expressed concerns about the risk of genocide in Ethiopia earlier this month, a statement rejected by the Ethiopian government.
While regional administrators claim to have restored stability in the area, credible local media reports indicate ongoing clashes between Fano forces and Ethiopian government soldiers in various parts of the region, affecting both cities and rural areas. These confrontations continue to disrupt mobility, social activities, and economic life in the region.
Several local reports also confirm that the Ethiopian government is extensively using drone attacks but the victims are said to be mostly civilians.
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