• search
For Quick Alerts
Subscribe Now  
For Quick Alerts
ALLOW NOTIFICATIONS  
For Daily Alerts

Several dead in Ethiopia stampede after tear gas fired

By PTI
|

Bishoftu (Ethiopia), Oct 2: Several people were killed in a stampede near the Ethiopian capital today after police fired tear gas at protesters during a religious festival, according to a photographer at the scene.

Several thousand people had gathered at a sacred lake in the town of Bishoftu to take part in the Irreecha ceremony, in which the Oromo community marks the end of the rainy season.

Several dead in Ethiopia stampede

Some participants crossed their wrists above their heads, a gesture that has become a symbol of Oromo anti-government protests. The event quickly degenerated, with protesters throwing stones and bottles and security forces responding with baton charges and then tear gas grenades.

The tear gas caused panic and at least 50 people fell on top of each other into a ditch. The AFP photographer saw between 15 and 20 unmoving bodies some of which were clearly dead.

Police demanded that the photographer leave the scene, where rubber bullets were strewn on the ground. "This government are dictators, there is no equality or freedom of speech. There is only TPLF.

That's why we must protest today," said Mohamed, referring to the Tigrayan People's Liberation Front. In 1991 the TPLF, then a rebel group, overthrew Mengistu Haile Mariam's dictatorship and now, as a political party stands accused of monopolising power.

Every year millions of people in the Oromo region mark the Irreecha festival on the shores of Lake Harsadi, which they consider sacred. Ethiopia is facing its biggest anti-government protests in a decade.

They started in the central and western Oromo region in 2015 and spread in recent months to the northern Amhara region.

Together, Oromos and Amharas make up 60 percent of the population and have become increasingly vocal in rejecting what they see as the disproportionate power wielded by the northern Tigrean minority in government and the security forces.

(AFP)

For Daily Alerts

For Breaking News from Oneindia
Get instant news updates throughout the day.

Notification Settings X
Time Settings
Done
Clear Notification X
Do you want to clear all the notifications from your inbox?
Settings X
X
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. This includes cookies from third party social media websites and ad networks. Such third party cookies may track your use on Oneindia sites for better rendering. Our partners use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on Oneindia website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Learn more