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Ethiopia Accuses South Sudan Gunmen of Killing 140

  • VOA News

Armed groups from South Sudan conducted a cross-border raid, killing more than 140 people and kidnapping many children, Ethiopia's government said Sunday.

Ethiopian officials blamed Friday's attack near Gambella on ethnic Murle gunmen. They said women and children were among those killed, and a number of children were abducted and taken back to South Sudan.

"The Ethiopian defense force is currently chasing after the perpetrators," Ethiopia communication minister Getachew Reda told The Associated Press Sunday.

Reda said there is no relation between the attackers and the South Sudanese government or the country's rebels.

Pursuing gunmen

He said Ethiopian forces had killed "60 members of the attackers" so far, and may cross into South Sudan to continue to pursue the gunmen.

Ethiopia is host to thousands of South Sudanese refugees -- about 272,000 in the Gambella region, which borders South Sudan -- who fled after war broke in their country in December 2013. Tens of thousands have been killed and more than 2 million people forced to flee their homes during the war.

The Murle is a tribe from South Sudan based in the eastern Jonglei region.

On Monday, South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar is due to return to the country's capital, Juba, as part of a peace agreement reached last year.

Some material for this report came from AP and AFP.

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