ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia – Ethiopian troops have clashed with a local police force in the restive Somali region, with the defense ministry saying it will “take the necessary measures” to restore order.
Witnesses say the fighting on Saturday in the regional capital of Jigjiga led to the burning of two churches and the destruction of several dozen businesses.
It is not immediately clear what set off the clashes. Government officials were not available for comment.
The Ogaden National Liberation Front, which has fought to “liberate” the Somali region, alleges that the fighting “resulted in loss of life.” The organization calls on Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to halt the military’s activities and initiate peaceful dialogue.
The regional police force known as the Liyu has been criticized by Human Rights Watch of being involved in torture.