Ethiopia faces a social media blackout as clashes intensify between ethnic groups in various parts of the country.
Facebook and Twitter are down Tuesday after reports emerged of killings on Monday by security forces in the Oromia region.
Oromia regional spokesman Addisu Arega said the violence in Chelenqo town killed six people and was being investigated. On Facebook he called the victims “innocent civilians.”
The Addis Standard news site reported 15 killed, including women and children. The Associated Press was not able to independently verify the reports.
Oromia regional officials have long accused special police from the neighboring Somali region of committing atrocities against ethnic Oromos. The regions also have had bitter border disputes.
The United States has pledged to help resolve the conflict and support 660,000 displaced ethnic Oromos.