More than 50 dead in Ethiopia stampede

  • 03/10/2016
Protestors run from tear gas launched by security personnel during the Irecha, the thanks giving festival of the Oromo people in Bishoftu town of Oromia region, Ethiopia (Reuters)
Protestors run from tear gas launched by security personnel during the Irecha, the thanks giving festival of the Oromo people in Bishoftu town of Oromia region, Ethiopia (Reuters)

Ethiopia's government says several people have died and others have been injured in chaotic scenes at a festival near the capital, while the opposition party says the death toll is at least 52 in a stampede sparked by police action to break up a protest.

"As a result of the chaos, lives were lost and several of the injured were taken to hospital," the government communications office said in a statement on Sunday, without giving figures. "Those responsible will face justice."

Merera Gudina, chairperson of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress, told Reuters at least 52 people were killed when people fled after police fired teargas and shots in the air to disperse anti-government protesters at the crowded festival.

The government and opposition often give different accounts for casualties during protests, which have erupted sporadically for about two years in the Oromiya region near Addis Ababa.

Reuters