Ethiopian authorities have arrested over 200 people linked to deadly religious violence last Tuesday in the northern Amhara city of Gondar.
In an attack on a Muslim community in Gondar 21 people died, the Amhara Regional Islamic Supreme Council for Affairs said on Wednesday.
The council further said that more than 150 people were also injured in the incident.
It is not yet clear whether there are any casualties from the attackers. Page.
In a statement released late Thursday, Ethiopia’s Federal Intelligence and Security Task Force said it has arrested 280 suspects in connection with the incident, which took place in the religious and historical tourist destination city Gondar.
The task force said the arrests were part of a crackdown on some elements working under the guise of religion to help “anti-Ethiopian forces”.
The statement said the suspects were involved in the violence and intended to spread it to larger parts of the Amhara region and beyond.
According to the statement, the perpetrators planned to target religious institutions and individuals to escalate the level of violence.
“The conflict in Gondar is a conspiracy to provoke clashes between different religious groups, thereby leading to national chaos ren.
“Using the pretext of the incident, attempts were made in various parts of the country to incite religious violence at a burial site in the central Gondar zone involving Christians and Muslims. The aim was to serve the interests of the anti-Ethiopian forces.
“Those forces whose attempt to bring about a crisis to the age-old shared values failed have played religion as a playing card to foment discord, the Violence between adherents of different faith groups could result,” the task force added.
It also said that anti-Ethiopian forces, both internal and external, had tried to incite ethnic violence across the country to disrupt the country into a crisis.
The task force also claimed to have sufficient information on the attack’s orchestrators, who are stationed in Ethiopia and other countries, adding that it would take action against them .
Tuesday’s attack was carried out during a Muslim funeral at Sheikh Elias Cemetery in the predominantly Christian city of Gondar.
Although the Security Task Force Anti- Peacekeepers for the attack, however, the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs of Ethiopia pointed the finger at what it called “radical supporters of the Orthodox Church” for the deadly attacks.
The Supreme Council for Islamic Addis Ababa Affairs said that “Mosques were torched and massive property demolitions carried out by a mob blinded by bigotry, clearly demonstrating Islamophobia.”