Addis Ababa, Oct 3 (IANS) 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.
Thousands of people had gathered for an annual celebration of thanksgiving in Oromiya region when some began chanting and waving a rebel flag. When police fired teargas and guns into the air, crowds fled and created a stampede, 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.
Some protesters waved the red, green and yellow flag of the Oromo Liberation Front, a rebel group branded a “terrorist” organisation by the government.
According to the witnesses, victims were seen dragged out of the ditch showing no obvious sign of life. Half a dozen people were also taken to a hospital.
The government did not release the official death count. The figure came from the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress.