Deadly stampede at Ethiopia protest

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Dozens have been killed and injured in Ethiopia’s Oromia region after security forces confronted protesters at a festival, witnesses say.

Some people died in a panicked stampede after police employed tear gas and baton charges, they said.

Thousands had gathered for a religious festival in Bishoftu, 40km (25 miles) from the capital Addis Ababa.

Some reports said police responded after anti-government protesters threw stones and bottles.

Others said demonstrators were entirely peaceful.

Ethiopia’s government said in a statement that “lives were lost”, adding: “Those responsible will face justice”.

An Oromo activist, Jawar Mohamed, is quoted as saying nearly 300 people were killed and many more injured. He said troops and a helicopter gunship had opened fire, driving people off a cliff and into a lake.

There has been no independent confirmation of this.

People in the Oromia and Amhara regions have complained about political and economic marginalisation.

 

Source: REUTERS / BBC

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