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Over 20 killed in ethnic clashes in Ethiopia

Oromo regional police officers wait in a pick up car during the Oromo new year holiday Irreechaa in Bishoftu on October 2, 2016.
Several people were killed in a stampede near the Ethiopian capital on October 2, according to an AFP photographer at the scene. Several thousand people from the Oromo community gathered at a sacred lake for a religious festival and started to cross their wrists above their heads, a symbol of Oromo anti-government protests. The event quickly degenerated, with protesters throwing stones and bottles and security forces responding with baton charges and tear gas grenades. Together, Oromos and Amharas make up 60 percent of the population and have become increasingly vocal in rejecting what they see as the disproportionate power wielded by the northern Tigrean minority in government and the security forces. / AFP / Zacharias ABUBEKER        (Photo credit should read ).
Oromo regional police officers wait in a pick up car during the Oromo new year holiday Irreechaa in Bishoftu on October 2, 2016. Several people were killed in a stampede near the Ethiopian capital on October 2, according to an AFP photographer at the scene. Several thousand people from the Oromo community gathered at a sacred lake for a religious festival and started to cross their wrists above their heads, a symbol of Oromo anti-government protests. The event quickly degenerated, with protesters throwing stones and bottles and security forces responding with baton charges and tear gas grenades. Together, Oromos and Amharas make up 60 percent of the population and have become increasingly vocal in rejecting what they see as the disproportionate power wielded by the northern Tigrean minority in government and the security forces. / AFP / Zacharias ABUBEKER (Photo credit should read ). ZACHARIAS ABUBEKER/AFP/Getty Images

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia – Ethiopia‘s government says more than 20 people have been killed in renewed clashes between ethnic Oromos and Somalis in the past week.

Spokesman Negeri Lenco says 98 people were arrested in the Oromia region and five arrested in the Somali region. A long-standing border dispute and an increased military presence in the regions triggered the recent fighting.

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Officials agreed to reconcile differences in April and troops were deployed to major roads, but clashes have continued. Fighting in September killed several dozen people and displaced tens of thousands of Oromos.

“People were fighting with whatever means they have against the Somali Special Police,” Galagalo Daalacha, an ethnic Oromo, told The Associated Press of Friday’s fighting in the Borana area. “Many people fled to the forest after troops … entered the area.”

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