Protests in different Oromia towns, Ethiopia, continued on Wednesday and Thursday; at least six people were killed and more than 30 wounded during protests.

By Solomon Abate, Salem Solomon, Tizita Belachew (VOA) |

Ethiopian government forces killed four people and wounded 18 others Thursday in the town of Soda in the restive Oromia region.

Residents, who asked for anonymity out of fear of retaliation by the Ethiopian government, told VOA’s Horn of Africa service that eight trucks escorted by federal forces were stopped by residents of Soda and surrounding villages, suspecting the trucks were transporting weapons to special “Liyu” police in the neighboring Somali region.

Kulultu Fara, security chief of the Dirre district in the Oromia region, said, “The federal forces were angered by the residents’ demand to stop the trucks and opened fire, killing four people.”

He said the eight trucks suspected of transporting weapons remain in Soda, and federal government officials are talking with locals in an effort to resolve the conflict.

Violent protests

In the meantime, protests continued Thursday in several Oromia towns.

Businesses were closed in the restive town of Shashamane, where protesters were killed Wednesday by federal forces, according to a regional official.

Addisu Arega, head of the regional government’s communications affairs bureau, told VOA that at least six people were killed and more than 30 wounded during protests in several Oromia cities and towns Wednesday.

Addisu said three people were killed in Shashamane, 250 kilometers southeast of Addis Ababa, and three more were killed in Bookee, in the West Hararge zone of Oromia. He added that a fourth death that was reported Wednesday in Shashamane was not related to a political incident.

On Thursday, a funeral gathering to bury those who were slain turned into a demonstration.

A witness to the demonstration told VOA that members of several other ethnicities joined the funeral crowd, expressing solidarity with the Oromos and chanting anti-government slogans.

Read the complete story at VOA
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