News: Unrest engulfs Amhara’s capital as clashes between security forces and Fano rock Bahir Dar city       

On Thursday, 29 February, 2024, conflict erupted in Bahir Dar city, the capital of the Amhara region, embroiling government security forces and the non-state militia, Fano (Photo: Amhara Communications/Facebook)

Addis Abeba – Conflict broke out on Thursday, 29 February, 2024, in Bahir Dar city, the capital of the Amhara region, involving government security forces and the non-state militia, Fano.

According to residents who spoke with Addis Standard, gunfire first started to be heard Thursday evening in areas locally known as “Abay Mado” and “Kebele 14.”

A resident of Bahir Dar, who wished to remain anonymous, disclosed that there was heavy weaponry fire exchange audible in the “Diaspora” neighborhood.

The resident added that currently there is no transportation operating throughout the city and no banking services available, with residents remaining in their homes.

Addis Standard has also learned that flights from Addis Abeba to Bahir Dar have also been delayed since this morning.

A student at Bahir Dar University told Addis Standard that fighting was audible late Thursday evening. The student further shared that university staff have not come to campus, and classes and cafes are closed.

In a statement released today, the Amhara Communication Bureau said that the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) and security personnel have jointly conducted operations to search for and apprehend members of an “infiltrated extremist group” in residential areas of Bahir Dar.

The Bureau stated, “At this time, Bahir Dar city and surroundings have been cleared of this extremist group.”

The statement claimed the extremist groups were “unable to withstand the security forces,” with militants departing the city after abandoning weapons.

The communication bureau further stated, “Extremists are portraying the life-saving shootings and their defensive actions as their assault via various domestic and foreign extremist media channels.”

In recent days, heavy fighting has resumed between government security forces and the non-state militia, Fano, across multiple urban locales within Ethiopia’s Amhara region.

Since late last week, clashes have been reported in the West and North Gojjam, North Shewa, and North Wollo zones, with roads being blocked off. Intense battles have also occurred around areas such as Gondar, Merawi, Dega Damot, Shewa Robit, Antsokiyana Gemza, and Lalibela town. AS

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