Bishoftu – Ethiopia’s government said on Sunday several people died and others were injured in chaotic scenes at a festival near the capital, while the opposition said the death toll was at least 175 in a stampede sparked by police action to break up a protest.
“As a result of the chaos, lives were lost and several of the injured were taken to hospital,” the government communications office said in a statement, without giving figures. “Those responsible will face justice.”
Jawar Mohammed, Executive Director Oromia Media Network said more than 175 people were killed when people fled after police fired teargas and shots in the air to disperse anti-government protesters at the crowded festival.
“#OromoProtests 175 dead bodies have been loaded and taken to Addis Ababa according to police source. Thats in addition to over 120 at Bishoftu hospital,” he posted on his verified Facebook page.
“The Abbaa Gadaas and elders officiating the Irrecha were badly beaten and in critical condition at hospital.”
“#OromoProtests Severa cadets have been executed at military Engineering College located in Bishoftu. They were shot when they tried help civilians who were fallen near colleges compound,” he added.
The government and opposition often give different accounts for casualties during protests.