Ethiopia army ‘locates children abducted from Gambella’
Ethiopia’s army has surrounded the area in neighbouring South Sudan where it believes more than 100 abducted Ethiopian children are being held, local media report.
The children were taken in a cross-border raid in the Gambella region last Friday, in which 208 people died.
The government has said members of the Murle community were responsible. Flags have been flying at half mast in Ethiopia as the country mourns those who were killed.
A government official in Gambella said that the abducted children would soon be rescued, the government-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate reports.
Gambella lies on the border with South Sudan and ethnic communities in the two countries have often clashed over land and cattle, the BBC’s Emmanuel Igunza reports from the capital, Addis Ababa.
A mother whose husband was killed and three of her children abducted by the attackers earlier told the BBC that she had no hope of seeing her children again.
“I don’t know if they were killed during the crossfire,” Chol Malual said. “The fighting was intense and if they survived, they will be probably be killed by the Murles.”
Meanwhile, additional medical personnel have been sent from Addis Ababa to help treat dozens of people who were injured during the attack.
“We have treated 82 patients,” a medic in the Gambella region told the BBC, “most suffering from bullet wounds to the chest, abdomen or head.
“We feel insecure here and would like the government to deploy security guards in the more dangerous areas.”
The targets of the raid were members of the Nuer ethnic group who live in both South Sudan and Ethiopia, the AFP news agency reports. BBC