Dan Joseph, Salem Solomon | VOA
Clashes between police and protesters in Ethiopia’s Oromia region have left several people dead, according to officials and regional opposition leaders.
Oromia has seen three weeks of protests over a government plan to integrate parts of the region with the capital, Addis Ababa. Critics say the plan will undermine local rule and cause local farmers to lose their land.
Witnesses say police have used force to contain or shut down protests, including one that took place Thursday in the town of Bako.
“Today in Bako city when the students came out to protest, people joined them and they started firing live rounds and hit some students,” a witness told VOA’s Horn of Africa Service. There was no word on whether anyone was killed.
Bloomberg news quotes a prominent opposition leader, Bekele Nega, as saying police have killed 10 students taking part in the ongoing protests.
Ethiopia’s communications minister, Getachew Reda, put the number of dead at four, and said security forces have been exercising restraint in the face of violence.