Tribal clashes kill at least 19 people in Ethiopia

At least 11 others are hurt in clashes between the Borana and Garba tribes of Ethiopia.

world Updated:

Clashes between two Ethiopian tribes over pasture and alleged cattle theft have killed 19 people and left 11 others wounded near the border with Kenya, an Ethiopian police spokesman said on Thursday.

Clashes over pasture and water are common among the pastoral communities that roam the poorly-patrolled area.

"One woman and seven men from Borana side and two women, one boy and six men from Garba side were killed in the three day inter-clan fighting," said Commander Demsashe Hailu, the Federal Police's public relations head.

A soldier and a policeman were also killed in the skirmishes between the Borana and Garba tribes that started on February 9, he said.

Kenyan authorities said Ethiopian women and children were fleeing the fighting and crossing over into Kenya's northern Moyale District to stay with relatives.

Moyale's District Commissioner Peter Okioma told Reuters two of those seeking refuge had been admitted to the local hospital with gunshot wounds.

"We fear that the skirmishes may spill over into Kenya since members of the two rival communities are seeking refuge among their families across the border," Okioma said.

First Published: Feb 15, 2007 18:56 IST