Addis Ababa, Oct 3: At least 50 people were killed in a stampede triggered after police fired teargas and warning shots at anti-government protesters during a religious festival in Ethiopia’s Oromiya region.
Nearly thousands of people were gathered for an annual celebration of thanksgiving in Oromiya area when some people started chanting and waving a rebel flag.Then police fired teargas and guns into the air, crowds fled to rescue themselves, with some people plunging into a deep ditch, Dailymail reported on Sunday.
The crowds chanted “we need freedom” and “we need justice”, preventing community elders, deemed close to the government, from delivering their speeches.Several rebels waved the red, green and yellow flag of the Oromo Liberation Front, a rebel group branded a “terrorist” organisation by the government.
Witnesses said that the victims were seen dragged out of the ditch showing no obvious sign of life. Half a dozen people were also rushed to a hospital.
However, the government did not release the official figures of deaths. The figure came from the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress.