Fighting continues to be reported in several areas of Ethiopia’s Amhara region between local militias and government troops.

Clashes are taking place on the outskirts of Gondar, one of the biggest cities in the region. Residents have told the BBC that transport services have stopped, with intense fighting around the city’s airport.

People in Amhara have confirmed to the BBC that mobile data services have been cut in some of the major cities and towns within the region – including the capital, Bahir Dar.

In Lalibela, home to famous rock-hewn churches, militias were in control of the airport on Wednesday, disrupting flights.

Images on social media show protesters supporting local militias, known as the Fano, continuing to block roads with rocks and trees to disrupt movements of the army.

Media outlets and activists linked to the group claim say they have gained control of several towns and small villages. The BBC has not independently confirmed the claims.

There are also reports of prisons and police stations being broken into in some towns.

In a statement posted on social media, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen called the recent developments “alarming”.

The region has seen simmering tensions and sporadic clashes since authorities announced the disbandment of a state-backed paramilitary group with opponents of the move saying it would expose the region to attacks.

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