The Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) militants Tuesday attacked Ataye town in North Shoa Zone ofEthiopia’s Amhara Regional State, killing an undisclosed number of civilians including children, eyewitnesses who escaped the attack told Mereja.com.
This is the eighthtime that the town has undergone attacks from the rebel group since PrimeMinister Abiy Ahmed came to power in April, 2018.
The militants have burned and robbed hundreds of houses and thousands of residents in the town fled neighbouring towns including Menze, the eyewitnesses have said.
The federal army was deployed to the area the same day to support the Amhara Special Force which has been defending the town, which is located 256 kilometers north of the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
Upon the deployment of the Ethiopian National Defence Force in the town, the ASF soldiers were relieved from the ongoing fighting, the eyewitnesses told Mereja.com adding the OLA militants, who are well armed including group weapons, are still burning houses at places the ENDF has not reached.
Undisclosed numberof inmates escaped from Ataye prison center, after the duty guards ran away to safe areas.
About 20,000 residents are estimated to have been displaced from Ataye, Senbete and Jewha towns and more than 100 people largelly members of security forces, died during the three-day operation.
Water and power utilities are cut off in the town the eyewitnesses confirmed and added that transportation service to and from Dessie and other places are disrupted.