In the latest series of Ethiopian Defense Force drone attacks, two individuals were killed, and at least four others were wounded. The incident occurred in Alem Ketema town, Merhabete district of the Amhara regional state in the North Shoa zone.
BBC Amharic reported that a drone strike near a school took place last Friday around 1 p.m. local time. The school administration in Alem Ketema confirmed the strike, emphasizing that it happened near Patriots Secondary School, which caters to students in grades 9-12, totaling over 2600.
Ahsagrie Abebe, the school principal, verified to BBC Amharic that the drone strike hit near the school. Residents and school administration sources informed BBC Amharic that the drone targeted Karl locality, described as a park, located just 20 meters from the school. Additionally, it was noted that Fano forces frequent the park for ration distribution and logistic supply.
Between the park and the school lies a trans-Ethiopia road. The intended target of the drone attack was Fano Forces, but civilians became victims of it.
Sources mentioned that students did not return to school on Monday due to the shock resulting from the previous week’s attack. The school principal confirmed this, while residents asserted that the two victims killed were Fano combatants. Those who were wounded were civilians.
Some reports indicate that the Ethiopian Defense Force has executed over a hundred drone attacks since the official launch of a military operation in the region in August 2023 during Abiy Ahmed’s administration.
In a related development, Artillery fired by government troops from Wuchale town South Wollo killed several civilians in Wurgessa town, including a seven-month pregnant woman and a five-year-old child – according to an EMS report that cited sources from the area.
The Ethiopian Federal government and the Amhara regional state have not remarked on the latest drone strike and the attack in Wurgessa.
State of Emergency:
It has been almost six months since Abiy Ahmed’s administration declared a state of emergency in the Amhara region of Ethiopia, citing an alleged invitation from the regional government. Theoretically, it is supposed to end in a week or so.
The regional government appealed to the Federal government, stating that maintaining law and order in the region had reached a point where it was no longer manageable with regular police force and other security forces. Despite an extensive military campaign, which reportedly led to numerous civilian casualties through drone attacks, artillery shelling, and extrajudicial killings from house-to-house searches, the Federal government forces, primarily the Defense Force, were unable to decisively defeat Fano Forces. Government structures in the region are still not functional in most areas.
Access to the region has been restricted for journalists and human rights activists, and the internet remains shut in most areas of the Amhara region. Despite deploying mechanized defense force units, the Ethiopian government forces were unable to decisively defeat Fano forces. Recent social media footage purportedly shows Fano leaders Zemene Kassie and Eskinder Nega addressing new recruits in the region with confidence about their victory.
Local media outlets have reported ongoing clashes this week between Fano Forces and government forces in Gojam, Gondar, Wollo, and Shewa.
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