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  • Ten killed during protests in northern #Ethiopia

    Violence erupted after army attempted to arrest several people in the city of Gondar, sources say.

    At least 10 people, including police officers and civilians, have been killed in northern Ethiopia after days of protests, according to local sources.

    Demonstrations on Thursday and similar protests in recent days in the city of Gondar were against what protesters see as the erosion of their ethnic identity.

    The government said three police officers and one civilian were killed. 

    The violence is believed to have started after the attempted arrests by government troops of leaders of the Amhara ethnic group.  

    Al Jazeera could not independently verify the reports. 

    "The government is saying they were trying to arrest people linked to a terrorist organisation. We’ve spoken to some people who say tourists have been moved out of the city to safe areas. The city is under lockdown," Al Jazeera's Charles Stratford, reporting from the capital Addis Ababa, said. 

    "This isn’t the first time protests happened in Gondar. There were protests earlier this year ... protests by the largest ethnic group, the Oromo. Protests during which human rights organisations say 300 people were killed."

    Images posted online showed burned-out vehicles and armed men firing guns in the air as hundreds of other people cheered them on.  

    The Amhara are the second largest ethnic group in the country. 

    "They say that they are being ignored by the government - the government that they alleged is dominated by other ethnic groups from the north," Stratford said. 

    The violence prompted the US embassy in Ethiopia to issue a temporary advisory warning against travel to the city centre of Gondar and areas where "violent demonstrations" have been reported.

    "The embassy recommends all US citizens travelling to or resident in the Gondar area evaluate their personal level of safety and to avoid demonstrations or large gatherings," the advisory issued on Wednesday said.

    Source:-www.aljazeera.com

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  • Islamic State confirms key commander #Omar Shishani dead

    A news agency linked to so-called Islamic State has confirmed the death of key leader Omar Shishani, whom the US said it killed in March.

    The Amaq news agency said Shishani was killed in combat in the town of Shirqat, south of Mosul in Iraq.

    The Pentagon said in March he had died from injuries sustained in a US air strike in north-eastern Syria.

    Shishani's real name was Tarkhan Batirashvili but he was also known as Omar the Chechen.

    The red-bearded jihadist was said to be a close military adviser to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

    The confirmation came on the Amaq website, which IS regularly uses to issue news and which had denied the Pentagon's claims in March.

    Amaq said he died trying to repel forces campaigning to retake the city of Mosul.

    It did not specify when, but the statement conflicts with the US claims made in March.

    It said its strike on 4 March had taken place near the north-eastern town of Shaddadi, where Shishani had reportedly been sent to bolster local IS forces.

    Last year, the US offered a $5m (£3.5m) reward for Shishani.

    It said he had held numerous senior military positions within the group, including "minister of war".

    Source:-www.bbc.com

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