HYDERABAD: A city businessman was among five people shot dead allegedly by armed rebels in Ethiopia while they were travelling in their car on Tuesday. Pavani Venkata Shashidhar (59), a resident of Ashoknagar , was in Ethiopia in connection with his mining business. Along with Shashidhar, his Japanese business partner and three Ethiopians were also killed in the attack by the unidentified gunmen.
The local government there has not named any armed rebel group and the motive was also not known.
The attack took place in Nejo district of West Welega zone of Oramio regional state — about 500 km from the capital Addis Ababa — according to an official statement from the Oramio regional state communications affairs office mentioning the deaths of three Ethiopians and two foreign nationals without giving their names or nationalities.
According to Shashidhar’s friend B Ramakrishna Rao, he had been making several trips to Ethiopia in recent months for setting up the mining business but had never mentioned about the local situation being dangerous. “He always said everything was fine and there was no cause for worry,” said Rao, who is also a business associate of Shashidhar in his other ventures. Shashidhar had gone to the country in the Horn of Africa on March 9 and was expected to be back on March 25.
Rao said that a couple of friends were now on their way to Ethiopia to get the body back to Hyderabad.
The Telangana government’s general administration (NRI) department, in its letter to the ministry of external affairs and Indian Embassy in Ethiopia, said that Shashidhar, who was a director in Sunrays Mining PLC Company, Ethiopia, had gone to Ethiopia on a business trip and urged the embassy to assist the family.