At least four people were killed and several others injured in a grenade explosion in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, during a massive rally in which an estimated five million people have taken part.Saturday’s explosion occurred right after Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed concluded his speech to the largest-ever rally in the country, at a place popularly known as Mesqal Square.
The rally was held to support the reforms undertaken by the new Prime Minister, since he assumed office on April 2nd this year.
After he took office last April, tens of thousands of political prisoners have been released and relative peace has prevailed in restive Oromia and Amhara regional states, where protestors had been demanding the end of the regime.
The hand grenade reportedly fell about 80 meters away from the Prime Minister, as he was leaving the square.
In a televised speech he made half an hour later, Dr Ahmed expressed his condolences to the families of those killed by the explosion.
The attack was a planned one and carried out by those groups who have the expertise. The incident was orchestrated by those groups who wanted to undermine the rally, the Prime Minister said.
“All the casualties are martyrs of love and peace,” he declared. “Love always wins. Killing others is a defeat,” he said, adding that the perpetrators will face justice.
Police were investigating the incident, according to the Prime Minister.