x

Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 22 July 2018

Deadly explosion at Ethiopian PM's rally

At seven killed in what rally organiser said was a grenade attack aimed at Abiy Ahmed

Ethiopian security forces intervene after an explosion at Meskel Square in Addis Ababa on June 23, 2018 during a rally in support of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Yonas Tadese / AFP
Ethiopian security forces intervene after an explosion at Meskel Square in Addis Ababa on June 23, 2018 during a rally in support of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Yonas Tadese / AFP

At least seven people were killed in an explosion at a rally for Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who escaped unharmed.

An organiser of the huge rally in the capital Addis Ababa said a member of the crowd had tried to throw a grenade at the stage.

"The prime minster was the target," Seyoum Teshome said. "An individual tried to hurl the grenade toward a stage where the prime minister was sitting but was held back by the crowd."

Mr Seyoum said three suspects, two men and a woman, were immediately arrested.

Minutes after being rushed to safety, Mr Abiy said in a televised address to the nation that "a few people" had been killed and others injured. He called the blast a "well-orchestrated attack" that failed.

"Love always wins," he said. "Killing others is a defeat. To those who tried to divide us, I want to tell you that you have not succeeded."

The blast occurred shortly after Mr Abiy, 42, had addressed the tens of thousands of people who had gathered in Meskel Square to show support for the sweeping reforms introduced since he took office in April.

_______________

Read more:

UAE pledges Dh11 billion in economic aid to Ethiopia

It might be too early to declare an African Spring – but leaders are being toppled in their droves

_______________