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

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

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

The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (ECHR), 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.

He added that a committee has been formed, made up of members of the Police, regional authorities and the Office of the Attorney General of the Nation, to monitor the identification, registration and burial of the victims.

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

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

“In the city of Bulen, thousands of displaced people are currently sheltering in a primary school and meeting room,” the statement added.

The ECHR also urged the relevant authorities “to provide urgently needed humanitarian assistance to the victims and people displaced by the attack.”

The bloodshed occurred around 10:00 pm local time (1900 GMT) on Tuesday.

It was carried out by gunmen, who set fire and shot neighbors while they slept, the commission confirmed.

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