There was no claim of responsibility and no group was blamed for the attack, but Ethiopia says it has thwarted several plots in recent years by Ethiopian insurgents as well as Somali al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab Islamist militants.
The bus ambush on Tuesday evening – near the $4 billion-Grand Renaissance Dam – was the second attack on public transportation in the Benishangul Gumuz region in five months. Four people were killed by a bomb on a minibus in November.
“The bus was targeted while travelling 100 kilometres (62 miles) south of (regional capital) Assosa,” a report on state-owned Ethiopian Television said.
No further details were given, and officials were not immediately available to comment.
In September, two Somali suicide bombers accidentally blew themselves up in Addis Ababa while preparing to detonate explosives among football fans during Ethiopia’s World Cup qualifying match against Nigeria.