Two People Killed Amid Clashes in Eastern Ethiopian Town

By Staff Reporter

Jigjiga-ProtestDecember 25, 2019 (Ezega.com) -- At least two people were killed and several others wounded amid clashes between demonstrators and security personnel in Jigjiga town of Somali regional state’s capital of eastern Ethiopia.

The clash broke out as Muslim demonstrators denounced the burning of mosques in Mota town of northern Ethiopia by some angry Christians after a church was set on fire by unidentified people.

The clash occurred during late hours of the demonstration held at the Jigjiga stadium as troubled members of federal police fire guns in a counter-response to attacks they faced from some of the demonstrators who were throwing stones on members of security forces, eyewitnesses told Ezega.com.

Four mosques and one church were set on fire last Friday when a religious dispute broke out in Mota town of east Gojam in Amhara state of north Ethiopia after a church and mosques were burned down.

The dispute began as unidentified people set a local church by named Saint George Church on fire which was later put under control. In a revenge attack, Ethiopian Orthodox Church followers ablaze four mosques, two of which were fully damaged.

The Amhara Regional government disclosed thirty three individuals allegedly involved in the burning of the religious institutions.

One person was killed during the clash, Somali Communication Affairs Head, Mohammed Alad, was said but, according to the eyewitnesses, two young unidentified youth were killed amid the violence, one male and one female.

The Communication Affairs Head blamed a third party who he said were trying to turn the demonstrations into a broader conflict.

Eyewitnesses back Mohammed’s claims on the involvement of some insurgents to incite violence which was put under control by security forces later.

Quite a few churches were burned down and followers of Christianity were killed in religious-based attacks mid last year in the same town, to which the federal government responded later.

The thousands of demonstrators carried various slogans that denounced the damage against mosques in Mota town and demanded the government to act swiftly.

A conflict that occurred in Jigjiga town in August last year caused the loss of lives, destruction of property and devastation of churches.

More than 141,000 people were reportedly displaced in Somali region immediately after inter-communal conflict started on 04 August 2018.

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