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Ethiopia foils coup attempt

June 24, 2019

ADDIS Ababa: Ethiopia’s prime minister said his government had foiled a coup attempt in a region outside the capital.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed told the state broadcaster overnight that his administration had thwarted an attempted coup in the region of Amhara led by a very high-ranking military official and others within the country’s military.

In his address, Abiy said some people had been killed and others wounded in the operation.

Among those wounded was the chief of staff Gen. Seare Mekonnen.

In this image made from video, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announces a failed coup as he addresses the public on television, Sunday, June 23, 2019. The failed coup in the Amhara region was led by a high-ranking military official and others within the country’s military, the prime minister told the state broadcaster. AP PHOTO

“He was shot by people who are close to him,” Abiy said. According to Abiy, regional government officials were in a meeting when a coup attempt occurred.

It was unclear whether Seare had survived. Both the head of Amhara’s regional government Ambachew Mekonnen and his advisor were killed, state media reported early Sunday.

The coup attempt was orchestrated by Gen. Asamnew Tsige, the region’s head of security, state media reported.

Abiy said Seare had been shot while trying to fend off the attackers. The prime minister’s press secretary, Billene Seyoum, said that it was unclear whether Seare had been killed or wounded but a regional television broadcaster reported Seare had been killed, alongside another senior military official, Gize Abera.

The US Embassy reported gunfire being heard Saturday in the capital, Addis Ababa, and urged people to be careful.


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