Ethiopia: Gunmen kill two soldiers and driver in botched cash-in-transit heist

by Engidu Woldie

ESAT News (December 20, 2018)

Gunmen attacked two trucks belonging to the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia  carrying 6.8 million birr ($243,000) in foiled cash-in-transit heist near the town of Shakiso in southern Ethiopia killing two soldiers and a driver.

The first truck that was carrying the cash was able to escape and the driver, who was injured, checked into the local hospital. The driver of the second truck and two soldiers had died in the attack.

The two trucks, escorted by 10 soldiers, were transporting the $243,000 cash from the Dilla branch of the bank to Guji branch when they came under attack 20 kilometers outside Shakiso, according to Abdulfetah Abrar, the Bank’s operation head for the Dilla branch. Abrar told ESAT that the operator of the first truck drove 20 kilometers on a flat tyre despite his injuries and was able to deliver the cash.

A bank manager who wanted to remain anonymous told ESAT that he believed the attack was perpetrated by combatants of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) whom he said had huge presence in the area.

Two months ago, OLF combatants killed three members of the army in an area bordering Guji and Amaro.

ESAT has attempted to reach OLF representatives for a comment but to no avail.

In September, leaders of the OLF and its combatants returned to Ethiopia from their base in Eritrea following a call for peaceful political process by the government of Abiy Ahmed. The group has been accused of several deadly attacks and violence in the Oromo region and neighboring areas.