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News: Drone attacks coinciding with Irreechaa result in a dozen of fatalities in West Oromia

Two drone attacks in Hababo Guduru and Kombolcha districts of West Wollega killed numerous civilians (Photo: Google Map)

Addis Ababa – Over 12 individuals were reportedly killed in two separate drone attacks conducted by government forces in the Horro Guduru Wollega Zone of the Oromia region. The attacks occurred last weekend on Saturday, 07 October, and Sunday, 08 October, coinciding with the annual Irreechaa celebrations. According to local residents, the alleged attacks happened in the Hababo Guduru and Kombolcha districts of the zone.

A resident from Hababo Guduru, who preferred to remain anonymous, informed Addis Standard that on Saturday, 07 October, during confrontations between a faction of the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) and government forces, a government-initiated drone strike at 11:30 am at a place known as Merfata Mekonon resulted in the deaths of seven district residents.

Furthermore, a resident from the neighboring Kombolcha district reported that the hostilities continued and an airstrike that took place on Sunday afternoon at around 4:30 pm in an area known as Lege Kombolcha, resulted in the deaths of five individuals. The source also mentioned that three injured survivors from the strike were urgently transported to a nearby hospital for treatment.

In a separate incident, the same source disclosed that two young men and an elderly person were killed by state forces on Sunday morning at 10:30 am in Hula Guto Kebele of the Kombolcha district.

Another informant from the Kombolcha district informed Addis Standard about a farmer named Fiqadu Abera who was injured and had his residence set on fire by government security forces in Bikiltu Bargemo Mose area, located 10 km from Kombolcha town. This informant also explained that the intensifying conflict between the OLA and government troops disrupted telephone and electricity services in the area.

Many residents expressed concern about the escalating conflict between the federal forces and OLA rebels, which has resulted in numerous civilian deaths and displacements from villages in recent days, particularly in the Kombolcha and Hababo Guduru districts. However, this is not the first time such incidents have occurred during confrontations between federal forces and the OLA.

Addis Standard previously reported an incident on 25 October, 2022, where local residents provided information about a drone strike in Ofu Bekke village, located in the Chobi district, approximately 120 km northwest of Addis Abeba in the West Shewa Zone of the Oromia Regional State. The attack specifically targeted an area called Kale, approximately 145 km from the capital.

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On 30 October, 2022, an airstrike in Mendi town within the Menesibu district of the West Wollega Zone was reportedly carried out by the OLA and tragically resulted in the deaths of over 20 civilians. Although the primary target of this strike was the OLA fighters, the majority of casualties were non-combatants.

Addis Standard‘s attempts to reach out to officials from the Hababo Guduru and Kombolcha districts have been unsuccessful. AS

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