The Orthodox holy city of Lalibela in Ethiopia under attack

Fighting has been going on since Wednesday morning between militiamen and federal forces in the Ethiopian holy city of Lalibela (north), located in the disputed Amhara region and famous for its rock-hewn churches, according to several residents.
The Amhara Fano “self-defense” militia supported the Ethiopian army during the two-year conflict with the rebel authorities of the neighboring Tigray region, which ended with an agreement signed in November 2022 in Pretoria. This agreement, seen as a reversal of alliance, exacerbated tensions in Amhara, which degenerated into open conflict when the federal government attempted in April to disarm regional forces.
It has not been possible to independently verify these assertions, as federal authorities are restricting access to Amhara. Neither the federal government nor the Ethiopian army responded immediately to media enquiries.
Another resident, who wished to remain anonymous, also reported that the fighting, which began at around 08:00, was continuing and that the Fano were visible in town. He assured us that no fighting had taken place on Wednesday near the rock churches, a UNESCO World Heritage site. A third Lalibela resident confirmed that the town was the scene of fighting, without giving any further details.
In August, the federal government declared a state of emergency in Amhara. The federal army controls the major towns and main roads, but the situation is highly volatile and the Fano are stepping up their attacks in rural areas.