Police fired teargas and warning shots at anti-government protesters during a religious festival, triggering a stampede that killed ‘at least 50 people’. Thousands of people had gathered for an annual celebration of thanksgiving in Ethiopia’s 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.
Witnesses said they saw people dragging out a dozen or more victims, showing no obvious sign of life. Half a dozen people, also motionless, were also seen being taken by pick-up truck to a hospital, one witness said. The government said ‘lives were lost’ and ‘several were injured’ but did not give a precise death toll.