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Several people killed in explosion at a rally for new Ethiopian Prime Minister

An explosion rocked Addis Ababa, Ethiopia today as it was gathered that several people were killed in the blast at new Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s first rally in the capital attended by tens of thousands of people.

Several people killed in explosion at a rally for new Ethiopian Prime Minister lailasnews


Shortly after the incident, the Ethiopian Prime Minister who wrapped up his speech in the heart of Addis Ababa when the explosion went off, sending panicked crowds towards the stage as the prime minister left hurriedly, offering his condolences to families of the victims in a televised address.

“All the casualties are martyrs of love and peace,” Abiy was quoted as saying.

Abiy who claimed the blast was orchestrated by groups who wanted to undermine the rally, had in recent months made major changes in Ethiopia including shaking up the security services, releasing jailed dissidents, moving to liberalise the economy and to resolve a two-decade conflict with arch-enemy Eritrea.

“Ethiopia will be on top again, and the foundations will be love, unity and inclusivity,” he declared on Saturday, dressed in a green T-shirt and a hat.

Several people killed in explosion at a rally for new Ethiopian Prime Minister lailasnews 1

AFP correspondent said that after the blast, dozens of people stormed the stage, hurling various objects at police, shouting: “Woyane down, down,” and “Woyane thief”, using a pejorative term for the government.

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Fitsum Arega, the prime minister’s chief of staff, in a statement released later said that at least 83 people were wounded but that there were no fatalities, despite earlier reports to the contrary. He however said in an earlier post on Twitter, that an unidentified assailants launched a grenade attack at the rally.

Al Jazeera’s Dereje Berhanu witnessed the attack while attending the rally at Meskel Square in the capital.

“I was in front of the stage when the blast occurred to my right. We rush to that direction to see what happened and I saw people seriously wounded and blood all around that area,” Dereje reported.

“Police said more than 100 people were wounded and 15 of them were admitted to hospital with serious injuries,” he added.

Footage of the rally showed Abiy being rushed from the scene by security guards. Ambulances were at the scene in the crowded Meskel Square in Addis Ababa where the prime minister had been addressing thousands of supporters.

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Here are more photos below;

Several people killed in explosion at a rally for new Ethiopian Prime Minister lailasnews 2

Several people killed in explosion at a rally for new Ethiopian Prime Minister lailasnews 3

Several people killed in explosion at a rally for new Ethiopian Prime Minister lailasnews 4

Several people killed in explosion at a rally for new Ethiopian Prime Minister lailasnews 5

Source: LailasNews.com

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