An explosion struck a huge rally for Ethiopia’s reformist new prime minister on Saturday shortly after he spoke and was waving to the cheering crowd that turned out to support sweeping changes in Africa’s second most populous nation.
Addressing the country minutes after he was rushed to safety, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed called the blast a “well-orchestrated attack” but one that failed.
He did not lay blame but said police were investigating. Health Minister Amir Aman confirmed one death while Abiy’s chief of staff said 83 people were hurt, six critically, reports AP.
“The prime minster was the target,” a rally organiser, 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.”
The man with the grenade was wearing a police uniform, said witness Abraham Tilahun. Police officers nearby quickly restrained him, he said. “Then we heard the explosion.”
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