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Two people killed over protest against new synod of Ethiopian Orthodox Church

At least two people were killed and several others injured in Shashemene – about 261 kilometers South of Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. One died at the spot and the other one reportedly died hours later from his injuries.The killing took place on Saturday as the Oromia security forces shot at the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church faithful who denied a group of bishops’ entry to Saint Michael Church in the city.

When the faithful gathered outside the church, the security forces fired gunshots to disperse the crowd but their action did not disperse the crowd apparently – and police started to shoot live bullets to disperse it, eyewitnesses told APA.

According to the eyewitnesses, followers of the church had rushed to Saint Michael and other five churches in the city to defend entry of the bishops who were separated from the church’s activities by the Holy Synod for establishing a new Synod and ordaining 26 archbishops ‘illegally’.

Currently, troops of the national army are deployed in the city where transportation and other services are suspended due to the protest.

The protest against members of the newly established ‘Synod’ is spreading in Arsi Negele town where security forces are trying to disperse the faithful in gunshots. The faithful are still gathered in Saint George and other churches of the town.

Oromo regional state special forces are said to be behind the killing and they are said to have used a sniper. 

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