Gunmen in western Ethiopia kill a minimum of 34 individuals in bus assaults, the regulation enforcement company informed Reuters

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Armed men in western Ethiopia killed at least 34 people in an attack on a bus on Saturday evening, the national human rights organization said on Sunday as fears of a security vacuum in the country increased during a military campaign in the north.

The Ethiopian Commission on Human Rights said the number of people killed is likely to rise after a so-called “cruel” attack on the passenger bus in the Benishangul-Gumuz region. There have been reports of “similar” attacks and people who fled violence in other parts of the region.

“The recent attack is a grim addition to the human cost we share,” said Daniel Bekele, head of the commission, in a statement.

He called on the regional and federal authorities to work together on a strategy for Benishangul-Gumuz, as the attacks there were “relentless”. According to the Ethiopian government, armed militiamen killed at least 45 people in the same region in September.

The violence takes place amid a 12-day-old war between the Ethiopian government and the troubled Tigray region in the north of the country. Experts say conflict could encourage other ethnic groups to take advantage of the chaos to demand more autonomy, while redistributing forces to Tigray could expose other regions.

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