Ethiopia: Rebels Kidnap 145 Civilians In Benishangul-Gumuz Region

An Ethiopian rebel group has kidnapped 145 civilians in the western Benishangul-Gumuz region following gun battle with security forces that displaced thousands.

State-appointed Ethiopian Human Rights Commission said a group calling known as the Gumuz People’s Democratic Movement, GPDM kidnapped the civilians in Sedal Woreda following the clashes.

It added that fighting has been raging between local security forces and the rebels since Sunday.

Benishangul-Gumuz region hosts the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and has been blighted by armed attacks in recent years.

In another development, over 500 migrants attempting to get to Europe were intercepted off the Libyan Coast as the country continues a massive crackdown on migrants.

They were intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard while on boats believed to heading to Europe. Five hundred were crammed in one boat, while a second rubber boat with 50 people was intercepted after its engine failed at sea.

The UN refugee agency says majority of the people are from Bangladesh, Somalia, Sudan and Syria. It was reported that this is coming just days after one person was killed and dozens injured during a police operation in an area in west Libya popular with asylum seekers and migrants.

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