ADDIS ABABA, (Xinhua) --
Ethiopia announced on Monday it has arrested 15
individuals accused of carrying out assassinations of local
In a press
statement, Oromia Communication Bureau (OCB) said the 15
individuals are suspected of masterminding and carrying out a
campaign of assassinations targeting local government officials
of Oromia regional state. The suspects are also accused of
targeting security forces and civilians.
OCB further said
several guns, grenades and other weapons were seized along with
the 15 suspects.
The report didn’t
mention how many people are believed to have been killed by the
suspects and their possible structural affiliation.
However, it said the
15 suspects are believed to have contacts with armed groups
operating in some parts of Oromia, an implicit reference to the
armed group Oromo Liberation Front (OLF).
OLF is an armed
group claiming to fight for the rights of ethnic Oromos who make
up about 35 percent of Ethiopia’s estimated 105 million
It is estimated
there are around 2,800 OLF fighters based mainly in the western
and southern parts of Oromia regional state, the principal
operating ground of OLF.
OLF rebels have in
recent months been accused of conducting deadly assaults on
military and civilian targets, including the Sept. 26 killing of
four government officials.
OLF was designated
as a terrorist group by the Ethiopian parliament in 2011. It was
removed from the terror list in July by the Ethiopian