At least 12 people were killed in the Metakal zone of Ethiopia’s Benishangul-Gumuz region, regional government spokesman Melese Beyene told Reuters.
The killings, on Monday night, followed two attacks in the same zone last month where 45 people died and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government is faced with rising insecurity.
The killings started as revenge following the assassination of the brother of a local official, the spokesman said.
Victims included women and children as young as six months. Many died in their homes, according to a senior member of new political party the National Movement of Amhara (NAMA) and a local survivor who requested anonymity for fear of repercussions.
“I saw a six-month-old girl who was slaughtered at home and her body thrown in a field,” the survivor told Reuters. “I participated in the funerals of 13 people.”
Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen called on people in the Metakal zone to arm and defend themselves. He told state-run Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation the security situation in the region was “heartbreaking”.
Benishangul-Gumuz borders Sudan.
The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission said last month hundreds of civilians were displaced as a result of the violence and asked regional authorities to investigate.