ADDIS ABABA – Heavy fighting broke out on Tuesday morning between Ethiopian troops and rebel forces that attacked Gambella town, sources with direct knowledge told Sudans Post this afternoon.
The attack on the border district, one government official said, was launched by the rebel Gambella Liberation Front (GLF) and Oromo rebels led by General Ato Gatluak Buom Pal.
“The fighting in Gambella started at 6:00AM today. The attack was launched by rebel criminals led by Ato Gatluak Pal of the Gambella Liberation Front/Army and Oromo rebels,” one official said on condition of anonymity.
“The fighting started outside the town and then collapsed into the center and a fierce fight was fought around the parliamentary building and at this area, the rebels suffered defeat and some of them were arrested,” the official added.
Another government official described the fighting as brief and said the areas which were penetrated by the rebels inside Gambella like Gondar and three other areas have now been retaken by the government from the rebels who have since fled.
In a statement, General Gatluak said the operation in Gambella was targeting security forces and denied that the rebel forces were looting civilian properties and killing them.
“Operation conducting by Gambella Liberation Front (GLF/A) and Oromo Liberation Front ( OLF/A) in Gambella capital city is targeting only security forces institutions, PP leaders and government’s armed forces,” Gatluak said.
“Therefore, we are seriously warning the civilians not to come out from their houses to avoid crossfire,” he added.