One dead, 154 injured in blast at rally supporting new Ethiopian PM
Iran Press TV
Sat Jun 23, 2018 09:40AM
One person has been killed and 154 others wounded in a grenade explosion at a rally attended by thousands in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, the country's health minister says.
"One person has passed away at Black Lion Hospital. I would like to pass my condolences to the family and Ethiopian people," Amir Aman said on Twitter. "What happened is so sad. But it will never break our unity."
The blast occurred on Saturday after new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed concluded addressing the crowd in the heart of the city.
In a televised address following the attack, the chief of staff to Ethiopia's prime pinister, Fitsum Arega, said the deadly blast was "an unsuccessful attempt by forces who do not want to see Ethiopia united."
Since coming into office in April, Ahmed has carried out a series of radical reforms in Africa's second-most populous country, including releasing imprisoned dissidents and acting to liberalize the nation's economy.
Ahmed succeeded Hailemariam Desalegn, who resigned in February amid a wave of anti-government protests led by the country's two largest ethnicities.
According to local press reports, he is the country's first leader from the ethnic Oromo group, which has been at the center of nearly three years of anti-government rallies against persisting marginalization that have left hundreds of people killed.
The Ethiopian government is accused of human rights violations, including torture and extrajudicial killing of political dissidents.
The attack came a day after Ethiopian opposition group Ginbot 7 announced that it would halt armed attacks in the country following the reforms declared by the new government.
"Our forces have received strict orders to refrain from any sort of armed resistance," the group said in a statement.
The development came after the Ethiopian government announced last month the release from prison of top Ginbot 7 official Andargachew Tsige.
Government prosecutors further dropped charges against the group's leader Berhanu Nega, who is based outside Ethiopia and had been sentenced to death in absentia back in 2009 over an assassination plot.
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