Ethiopian army chief shot dead

Ethiopian map
Ethiopia on Map used to illustrate the story.

The chief of staff of the Ethiopian Army, Seare Mekonnen, has been shot dead, the BBC reports.

Mr Mekonnen was killed by his own bodyguard in Addis Ababa, the capital of the East African nation.

The Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, speaking on TV, said Mr Mekonnen and another officer died trying to prevent a coup attempt in Amhara region.

The regional governor of Amhara, Ambachew Mekonnen, and an adviser, was also killed in a separate attack.

The PM said the situation in the region and across the country is under control.

Ethiopia has witnessed largely ethnic protests by citizens in Amhara and other parts of the country in the past few years. The protesters marched against totalitarian rule and demanded democratisation of the country.

Mr Abiy has since his election last year released political prisoners and removed ban on political parties with a view to end political repression in the country.

How It occurred

According to Aljazeera, an Ethiopian government spokeswoman, Billene Seyoum, told journalists that a “hit squad” burst into a meeting in the state offices of Amhara’s capital, Bahir Dar, on Saturday and shot regional government head Ambachew Mekonnen and his adviser Ezez Wassie.

The men were “gravely injured in the attack and later died of their wounds,” the official was quoted as saying.

The assault was led by Amhara’s security chief Asaminew Tsige, the official said.

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“Several hours later, in what seems like a coordinated attack, the chief of the staff of the national security forces Seare Mekonnen was killed in his home by his bodyguard in Addis Ababa.”

Ms Billene added that also shot dead was a retired general who had been visiting him.

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