Soldiers in Ethiopia have killed nine civilians after mistaking them for militants close to its border with Kenya. The incident which occurred on Sunday also led to 12 people sustaining injuries.
The Ethiopian News Agency had reported that the soldiers were deployed to the Moyale area of the country’s Oromiya region in pursuit of Oromo Liberation Front fighters.
One of the soldiers told the news agency that “Nine civilians were killed and 12 others were injured during an operation that was launched with faulty intelligence”.
The Oromo Liberation Front fighters were accused of crossing into Ethiopia from three locations. The Oromo Liberation Front is a secessionist group branded as a terrorist group by the government.
Local media has also reported that the soldiers suspected of engaging in this latest killings have been suspended while investigations continue into the incident.
A six-month, nationwide state of emergency has been imposed on Ethiopia to deal with series of violent protests that have plagued the country especially in Oromiya.
Several deaths have been recorded from these protests with scores left injured. The government of Ethiopia in January this year released the country’s opposition leader, Merera Gudina from prison.
Ethiopia has witnessed repeated violent demonstrations since 2015, with protesters calling for political and economic reform, and an end to state corruption.