Sev­eral pro­tes­tors die in Ethiopia stam­pede

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

BISHOFTU — At least 50 peo­ple were killed in a stam­pede near the Ethiopian cap­i­tal yes­ter­day af­ter po­lice fired tear gas at protesters dur­ing a re­li­gious fes­ti­val, ac­cord­ing to an AFP 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.

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. — AP

At least 50 peo­ple were killed when po­lice opened fire at protesters af­ter a re­li­gious fes­ti­val turned vi­o­lent in Ethiopia — AFP

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