Death toll from armed attack in western Ethiopia climbs to 207 – rights group

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Addis Ababa, Dec. 26, 2020 The death toll from the recent armed attack in western Ethiopia’s Benishangul-Gumuz regional state has risen to 207, the country’s federal rights group confirmed late Friday.

Among the victims were 133 adult men, 35 adult women, some 20 elderly persons and 17 children, one of them a six-month-old baby.

The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC), a rights group established by the Ethiopian parliament, said in a statement late Friday.

Efforts are underway to identify the victims with the help of survivors and Identity Cards, the EHRC said.

It added that a committee, comprising members of the Police, regional authorities and the General Attorney’s Office has been set up to monitor the identification, registration and burial of victims.

A local official also informed the EHRC that two victims died while receiving treatment in Bulen Hospital on Thursday.

“The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission continues to monitor with relevant authorities the situation in Benishangul-Gumuz region,’’ the commission said.

“In Bulen town, thousands of displaced persons are currently sheltered in a primary school and a meeting hall,’’ the statement added.

The EHRC also urged relevant authorities “to provide urgently needed humanitarian assistance to the victims and persons displaced by the attack’’.

The bloodshed occurred at around 10.00 p.m. local time (1900 GMT) on Tuesday.

It was carried out by armed men, who set fire and shot at residents while they were asleep, the commission confirmed.

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