Ethiopian soldiers kill 9 civilians in ‘accidental shooting’

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Soldiers in Ethiopia killed nine civilians in the Oromia region on Saturday in what the state media described as an “accidental shooting” on Sunday.

Soldiers opened fire on civilians near the town of Moyale along the southern border with Kenya after apparently mistaking them for Oromo Liberation Front members attempting to sneak into the country, Ethiopian News Agency (ENA) reported. Another 12 people were injured during the shooting which some locals insist was no accident.

Ethiopians flee after shooting

The Kenya Red Cross says more than 8,500 Ethiopians have crossed the border into Kenya following the weekend’s shooting in order to escape the country’s escalating security crisis. According to ENA, soldiers were given incorrect information about the individuals caught up in Saturday’s shooting and the Ethiopian government has blamed the incident on an “an intelligence error”.

However, accounts from local officials and residents differ significantly from official sources. Survivors have said that soldiers were going from house-to-house, shooting people while others were fired at as they walked home from work and others who were sitting at cafes and restaurants.

“Soldiers were shooting at people crossing roads; they even shot at people eating in restaurants,” a friend of one of the victims told VOA.

Ethiopia remains in a state of emergency following the resignation of prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

Featured image: By Jonathan Alpeyrie – by user:jalpeyrie (via email), CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4185027

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.