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The reported death toll from a weekend rebel attack in Ethiopia has risen to at least 260, according to witness accounts. Government officials blamed the bloodshed on gunmen from the Oromo Liberation Army, an ethnic rebel group, who deliberately targeted the Amhara population in the western region of Oromia state. The group denied responsibility for the attack.
Ethiopia has long struggled with ethnic conflict. People of Oromo descent make up about one-third of the population, followed closely by ethnic Amhara. Under Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, the country attempted to move toward nationalized politics, an effort which devolved into the ongoing civil war between the government and the northern Tigray region that began two years ago. Ethnic Tigrayans had enjoyed outsized political power since the early 1990s despite making up around 5% of the population.
The Oromo Liberation Army has reportedly joined Tigrayan forces in their fight against the Abiy government, despite Abiy himself being an ethnic Oromo.