At least seven individuals were reportedly killed on Friday night in Adda Berga District’s Enchini town when gunmen attacked the prison facility. The town is situated less than 60 kilometers from the capital, Addis Ababa.
A DW Amharic report published on Saturday cited residents from the town, who spoke anonymously, stating that the attack started around midnight.
“Hundreds of prisoners were freed. Berhanu Habteye, Mayor of the town, is killed. We have also heard that prison police who were on duty were killed,” the residents told DW Amharic indicating that the number of prison police killed in the attack is unspecified and confirmed that the Mayor was killed in the attack.
Additionally, prison officers on duty were reported to have lost their lives, although the exact number remains unspecified. The armed group managed to break the firearms arsenal, looting an unspecified number of firearms.
The exchange of gunfire persisted for over an hour and residents described it as “unprecedented” in Enchini town. Subsequently, residents and security forces emerged to retrieve bodies, while the injured were transported to hospitals.
Besides the prison attack, there was an assault on the Sinqe Bank Branch in the town, although it was not specified if any robbery occurred. The assailants withdrew from the town following the attack.
DW Amharic attempted to contact Inspector Fana Regassa, the Head of the Districts Police Department, but he declined to respond. Hailu Adugna, the Oromia regional state Communication officer head, could not be reached via phone.
The identities of the gunmen remain undisclosed. Notably, the group that calls itself “Oromo Liberation Army’, an ethnic Oromo radical nationalist group associated with numerous killings and kidnappings in the region, operates extensively in the area.
This attack in Enchini town within Adda Berga District coincides with recent claims by the Ethiopian Defense Force regarding decisive actions against the group which it calls “OLF-Shane.” The security crisis in the Oromo region of Ethiopia has been escalating for more than five years.
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