ADDIS ABABA, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Sunday condemned the killing of civilians and property damage in various areas on the outskirts of Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa.
The exact number of people killed or injured in the violence on Saturday and Sunday is not yet available.
The violence has driven thousands of people to flee their homes and seek refuge in schools and other public facilities.
"Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed strongly condemns the killings and acts of violence against innocent citizens around Ashawa Meda, Kataa and Fili Doro last night," said Fitsum Arega, chief of staff of the Ethiopian Prime Minister's Office on Sunday.
"These cowardly attacks represent a grave concern to the unity and solidarity of our people and will be met with appropriate response," Ahmed, who is in Saudi Arabia to witness the signing of a peace agreement with Eritrea, was quoted as saying.
Video clips showing dead bodies and looted houses and properties appeared early Sunday on social media platforms.
The violence on Saturday and Sunday followed recent clashes in the capital Addis Ababa among local residents and youth from surrounding areas who came to celebrate the return of a rebel leader from years-long exile.
Police said on Sunday 70 people have been arrested for their suspected role in organizing the attacks on civilians and properties.