Twenty killed in western Ethiopia land clashes

ADDIS ABABA Sat May 24, 2008 2:08pm IST

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ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - More than 20 people were killed in three days of clashes over land in western Ethiopia last week, police said on Saturday.

Fighting over grazing and farm land is common in the south and west of the Horn of Africa nation.

"A long-standing dispute over land along the border between Oromia and Benishangule states in western Ethiopia erupted into violence claiming the lives of more than 20 people from both sides last week," police spokesman Demsash Hailue told Reuters.

Demsash dismissed local media reports that the fighting between the Oromo and Benishangule ethnic groups killed more than 100 people.

In April, land clashes in the southern Ethiopian town of Wondo-Genet killed 18 people.

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