Atleast one person is confirmed to have been killed and over a hundred others injured following an explosion that went off at a rally in Ethiopia that Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed was attending.
Witnesses said that the attacker was dressed in a police uniform and that he hurled a grenade shortly after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed had made his speech.
The rally held yesterday had been organized at Meskel Square in Addis Ababa. More than 150 people were injured, according to a government official.
Mr Abiy described the attack as an “unsuccessful attempt by forces who do not want to see Ethiopia united”.
The casualties sustained injuries in a stampede as they tried to flee to safety.
Some say that the Prime Minister was the target for the attack but it remains unclear why.
Abiy Ahmed, 41, became Ethiopia’s Prime Minister in April this year after his predecessor, Hailemariam Desalegn unexpectedly resigned in February. PM Abiy is a former soldier, minister of science and technology, and vice president of the Oromia region.
His assumption of power followed long months of violent protests that had rocked the country, pushing it to the brink of political tension.
The deputy police commissioner for the capital, Addis Ababa, and eight other police and security officials were arrested, according to Ethiopia’s Minister for Communications.
They were arrested on suspicion of complicity in the attack.
In a tweet, the U.S embassy in Addis Ababa condemned the blast as “violence” that “has no place as Ethiopia pursues meaningful political and economic reforms”.