According to a local who begged to remain anonymous for his protection, militants from the Oromo Liberation Army stormed the city early on Sunday and started shooting at government security personnel.
He remarked, “We are sitting inside our house listening to the gunfire.” The town’s military base was not far from the sound of gunshots.
The government has not yet responded to the reports. The mayor and the city’s security personnel could not be reached by the BBC.
After fighters invaded the town, which is located in the Oromia region some 300 kilometers to the west of the capital Addis Abeba, another person claimed to have heard gunfire. No one was moving, he claimed.
The fighting comes after recent skirmishes between the OLA and security troops in surrounding areas of Oromia.
For the past four years, Ethiopia’s government has been at war with the OLA. The Oromos, the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia, have long griped about being ignored.
The OLA has a military partnership with the TPLF, which until last week had been at war with the government in the northern Tigray province for the previous two years.
In accordance with that agreement, the TPLF is required to stop funding all other militias present in the nation.