Family killed by gunmen in Oromia

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Gunmen shot dead a family of seven and injured three others in the restive Ethiopian state Oromia, the prime minister’s home region, authorities said.

It was not clear who carried out the attack or why the family was targeted, but militias formed by ethnic groups proliferate across Ethiopia.

The violence is threatening political and economic reforms undertaken by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed after he took power in the Horn of Africa country in April last year.

Admasu Damtew, head of communication in Oromia, said the attack took place in the morning and the dead were all from the same family. Federal police and the military were deployed to the area after the killing, he said.

The attack took place in Bordede, in the Gumbi Bordede district, his office said in a statement.

Abiy’s reforms have brought new political freedoms but old state border disputes resurfaced. Large ethnic groups that dominate in regions are demanding more territory and resources. At the same time, smaller groups are pushing back.

Oromia was a hotbed of the protests that propelled Abiy to power and is an area where he struggles to keep the peace.