Ethiopia: Five civilians killed, 18 homes burned in clashes between Fano militants and government forces

At least five civilians lost their lives, and 18 homes were burned down amid clashes between #Fano militants and government forces in the rural town of Agona, Estre District of South Gondar Zone, #Amhara Region, according to local residents and eyewitnesses who spoke with the BBC.

The incident occurred on April 15, 2024, when Fano militants and government troops “unexpectedly encountered” each other on a road and exchanged gunfire, residents stated. Following this initial clash, the government forces allegedly attacked civilians in the area for allegedly supporting Fano.

Eyewitnesses reported that the forces opened fire, killing a woman and four men they came across on roads and in the village. Among the deceased was a 22-year-old student who was also killed while taking shelter in a local pool house, according to a religious leader in the community.

Residents identified the perpetrators as government defense forces based on their attire and vehicles. They cited a belief that the violence stemmed from the perception that they supported Fano.

In addition to the casualties, residents claimed that 18 houses were set ablaze by government forces later in the day after they had initially left the area. Videos circulating online appeared to show burning houses, though their authenticity could not be independently verified.