Ethiopia's Army Chief Shot At After Failed Coup Attempt

Illustrative Soldiers stand at attention in Meskel Square at the start of a public funeral ceremony for late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in Addis Ababa Ethiopia Sunday Sept. 2 2012

Ethiopia's military boss General Seare Mekonnen has been shot dead in the country's capital city Addis Ababa following a failed coup in Amhara state.

"Several hours later in what seems like a co-ordinated attack, the chief of the staff of the national security forces Seare Mekonnen was killed in his home by his bodyguard".

Earlier on Saturday, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said that the army chief was shot while trying to thwart an attempted coup on Saturday in a federal state north of the capital Addis Ababa.

"The situation in the Amhara Region is now under full control by the federal government in collaboration with the tegional government which, in accordance with the constitution, is being led by the Vice President, Lake Ayalew", said the office of the Prime Minister on Sunday.

"The embassy is aware of reports of gunfire in Addis Ababa".

She said most of the perpetrators, including Seare's bodyguard were in custody and operations were underway to sweep up the remaining accomplices.

Abiy's office named Amhara state security head General Asamnew Tsige as responsible for the foiled coup, without giving details of his whereabouts.

"There is a link between the two attacks", Nigussu said without elaborating.

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BBC understands that in Amhara itself, regional governor Ambachew Mekonnen was killed along with an adviser.

An Ethiopian army general was behind a coup attempt in the state of Amahara, state television reported on Sunday.

Ethiopia is Africa's second largest country by population and is a key ally in fighting terror in the Horn of Africa region.

In Bahir Dar, capital of Amhara, residents said they could still hear gunshots late on Saturday.

"This illegal attempt should be condemned by all Ethiopians and the federal government has full capacity to overpower this armed group". In October, rebellious soldiers protested over pay and invaded Abiy's office, but the prime minister was able to defuse the situation.

The internet was down across Ethiopia on Sunday, although the government made no statement about this. He has embarked on economic reforms, allowed dissident groups back into the country, sought to crack down on rights abuses and arrested dozens of top military and intelligence officials He also sealed a peace deal with neighbouring Eritrea, a longtime foe.

Ethiopia's parliament even appointed the country's first female president, Sahle-Work Zewde, and the nation's first Supreme Court chief, Meaza Ashenafi, was sworn into office. Several opposition groups have called for the polls to be held on time despite the unrest and displacement. In June 2018, only months in office, an attempt to hurl a grenade at Abiy caused a deadly explosion at a massive rally in support of the sweeping changes in Ethiopia.

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