Ethiopia: Police accused of allowing arson attack

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Ethiopia: Police accused of allowing arson attack

Remains of a mosque set ablaze in Mota district, in northern Ethiopian regional state of Amhara.

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia

(aa)—Chiefs of local police and militia in northwest Ethiopia were both arrested over their handling of last week’s torching of mosques, a church, and shops owned by Muslims, local broadcaster FANA reported on Tuesday.

The chief of police of the town of Motta Woreda and head of a local militia office were taken into custody over possible negligence in the way they failed to prevent the attacks, FANA quoted Chief Inspector Ayalneh Tesfaye as saying.

Earlier this month, four mosques, one church, and several businesses owned by Muslims were set ablaze in Mota in Gojjam in the Amhara regional state.

The mosques and churches were burned down by angry men in the streets, leading to mild clashes between local Christian and Muslim communities.

On Twitter, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed called the arson the “unacceptable” work of “extremists.”

He condemned the attacks as “attempts by extremists to break down our rich history of religious tolerance and coexistence.”

Attorney General Berhanu Tsegaye said strong measures would be taken against the perpetrators.

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