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News: Hundreds of “Fano and Shene” members, organized robbers detained in Addis Abeba for allegedly planning terror attacks ahead of major Orthodox Christian holiday

Among the pictures released by the federal police is a picture showing various counterfeit security outfits allegedly to be used by detained suspects. Photo: Federal Police

Addis Ababa – Ethiopian joint Security and Intelligence task force has announced Saturday that it has detained more than 371 suspected members of “Fano and Shene” groups as well as members of organized robbers who it accused of allegedly plotting terrorist attacks in and around the capital Addis Abeba during the coming Timket (epiphany), one of the major public holidays colorfully celebrated every year in January by followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church (EOTC).

According to the Ethiopian Federal Police the joint task force, which is comprised of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF), the Federal Police Commission, and Information Network Security Administration (INSA), detained 109 “extremist Fano” members accused of allegedly threatening to use the Timket holiday as cover up to commit terror attacks and organized robberies. They were detained along with “weapons used by members of the extremist Fano group and different security structures” who were involved in various armed attacks by diverting some of the questions raised by schools in the city and using them “for nefarious purposes.” The task force also accused them of plotting to use some political parties as a cover to “turn the capital Addis Abeba and its environs the center of terror and violence”; it claims they were detained red-handed while allegedly preparing to “incite violence” in the city in the coming Timket holiday.

Similarly, the task force says it has about 107 members of the “terrorist Shene” group, who were hiding from the coordinated legal actions being taken in the Oromia region and entered Addis Abeba city to carry out terrorist attacks; they too were detained along with the weapons allegedly prepared to carry out the attacks as well as various counterfeit security outfits.

The remaining 155 suspects detained were members of organized robbers who have threatened the society by committing robberies carrying weapons including knives.

The statement claimed the suspects were caught with their confidential documents, fake identity cards, Kalashnikov rifles, bombs, guns, a lot of ammunition and various security uniforms, a lot of money, stolen vehicles and various properties. The task force called on religious people and residents of Addis Abeba city and its surroundings to work closely with the government security structure and provided toll-free telephone lines.

In A separate statement, the Addis Abeba Police announced yesterday that after it implemented various coordinated plans in areas of the city frequented by individuals who commit crimes including, it has detained more than than 280 suspects along with evidences.

One of the places where crimes have been reported by community members is the junction area bordering Yeka and Bole sub-city, which are starting points and destination of transportation to different parts of the city, and where “illegal street businesses are widely conducted.”

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“Using this favorable situation as an opportunity, criminals commit various crimes including pickpocketing and fraud,” the city police said.

In July last year, the joint task force said it was able to avert major security threat including planned “terrorist attacks” on the capital Addis Abeba and its environs by forces affiliated with “Al-Shabaab”, “ISIS”, “Shene”, “TPLF Junta”, and “extremist Fano.”

It has subsequently detained 554 suspects, of whom it says 51 were “extremist members of Fano, 174 members of the TPLF junta group, 98 members of the Shene group, 100 suspects who were trying to incite violence in the city and 31 members of al-Shabaab” who were trying “to infiltrate into the city and carry out terrorist attacks.” AS

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