Ethiopian rebel forces kill 46 government troops

December 15, 2012 — Heavily armed Ethiopian rebel forces clashed with government troops in the northern Wolqait region of Ethiopia, witnesses reported by phone.

Local residents said a small convoy carrying government soldiers were ambushed and hit with multiple rounds of RPG fire on Friday around 4:30 A.M., causing a large number of causalities.

"I seen several (Ethiopian) military vehicles burning and dead bodies lying nearby. I counted at least 46 dead bodies on the road," said one resident who declined to be named for fear of reprisals.

In the aftermath of the attack, reinforcements were called in to secure the area, who were later seen shooting indiscriminately and apprehending men from nearby villages, witnesses said.

Asked about who the attackers were, local residents said a newly formed rebel group comprised of defected Ethiopian troops may have been responsible for Friday's deadly ambush.

In recent years, northern Ethiopia has been a hotbed for rebel activity. In the Wolqait region alone, several small rebel groups have taken up arms against the federal government.

Once part of the Gonder province, the Tigray-led EPRDF regime annexed Wolqait-Tsegede regions in 1991 and incorporated into the Tigray state, much to the resentment of local inhabitants.

Munition captured from government soldiers

The colored areas on the left and bottom sides were annexed from the Gonder
and Wollo regions respectfully in 1991 by the Tigray-led administration