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Ethiopia Raid: 208 killed by South Sudanese gunmen [Update]

Ethiopia Raid: 208 killed by South Sudanese gunmen [Update]


The death toll from a raid carried out by South Sudanese gunmen in western Ethiopia has risen to 208 people.

An Ethiopian official announced that the assailants also kidnapped 108 children.

The attack took place on Friday in the Horn of Africa nation’s Gambela region which hosts more than 284,000 South Sudanese refugees who fled conflict in their country, Reuters reports.

By Sunday afternoon, the number had risen to “208 dead and 75 people wounded” from 140 a day earlier, government spokesman Getachew Reda said, adding that the assailants had also abducted 108 children and taken 2,000 herd of livestock.

Reda said the attackers were members of South Sudan’s Murle tribe, BBC reports.

He noted that security forces were chasing the attackers and had killed 60 so far.

Ethiopia is hosting thousands of South Sudanese refugees who fled the 2013 clashes that began when President Salva Kiir sacked his deputy Riek Machar, accusing him of plotting a coup.

Machar denied the charges but then mobilised a rebel force to fight the government. He is due to return to the capital Juba to form a transitional government as part of a peace deal.

Reda said they don’t believe the attackers have any links to the South Sudanese government or rebels.

Ethiopia’s Gambella province, where the raid took place, has a history of conflict between communities and a sizeable Nuer population, Machar’s ethnic group.

The Murle have previously been accused of carrying out cattle raids and stealing children to raise as their own.

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