ADDIS ABABA, June 15 (Xinhua) -- Days of riot that hit Ethiopia's southern regional capital city, Hawassa this week has left at least 10 dead, state media Ethiopia Broadcasting (EBC) reported on Friday.
Speaking to EBC, Solomon Hailu, Head of Communications Bureau, Southern regional state, said ongoing riots which started on Tuesday have so far left 10 people dead, 89 others injured, and 2,500 people displaced in Hawassa city.
Haile also said an unknown number of private homes and businesses have been destroyed in the city, with regional and federal authorities working out to stamp out remaining pockets of unrest in the city.
The riots are said to have involved ethnic Sidamas, the original inhabitants of Hawassa city and the neighboring Wolaita ethnic group.
Photos and videos circulated on Social media by eyewitnesses purportedly showing "Sidama youth" ransacking property of Wolaitas in Hawassa has shocked many Ethiopians accustomed to seeing the lakeside city as a calm tourism and business hotspot.
Ethnic Sidamas and ethnic Wolaitas are among the more numerous ethnic groups in Southern regional state and have a history of tension which occasionally turned into deadly communal violence, over land rights and economic resources.
Sidama ethnic group have also in recent months agitated for the creation of their own regional state, to be carved out from the Southern regional state.
The President of Southern regional state Dessie Dalkie on Friday said his administration is working to return calm to the riot-torn streets of Hawassa city.