Heavy fighting between ethnic groups in southern Ethiopia has killed at least 21 people and wounded 61, its state news agency said on Saturday, amid escalating violence that has sent hundreds fleeing across the border to neighbouring Kenya.

Outbreaks of violence in the south between the Oromo and other groups have escalated since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed – the first leader from the Oromo ethnic group in Ethiopia’s modern history – came to office in March.

Fighting broke out between Somalis and Oromos in Moyale, a town bordering Kenya, on Thursday and Friday, the Ethiopia News Agency said, citing Suraw Mohammed, deputy spokesman of Somalia Regional State.

 The two groups have been engaged in prolonged conflict which has however intensified in recent months.

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