By Tesfa-Alem Tekle
April 16, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) - Unknown gunmen on Tuesday opened fire at a passenger bus in western Ethiopia killing nine and wounding seven others, some with severe injuries, Redwan Hussein, a government spokesperson, told reporters today.
The attack against the bus carrying 28 people was carried out in the outskirts of Assosa town in the Banishangul Gumuz region, where the Horn of Africa nation is building a massive hydro-power dam project known as the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
Egypt fears the dam could eventually diminish its share of water from the Nile River.
In the, past Egyptian officials were caught live on state TV secretly planning to sabotage the dam project located near the Sudanese border through direct air strikes and supporting Ethiopian rebels.
The attack on the bus was carried out despite a heavy security presence in the region to protect the ongoing construction of the $4.6 billion power plant project which Addis Ababa hopes will transform the country into a regional power exporter.
The intention behind the latest attack remains unclear. No group has claimed responsibility.
Officials say that police are hunting the perpetrators but no arrests have been made. The government has vowed to bring culprits to justice.
This is the second attack on public transportation in the region within the last six months.
In November a similar ambush on a passenger bus has left four people killed.