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ETHIOPIA: 500 people arrested ahead of major festival

The police in Ethiopia have arrested no fewer than 500 people ahead of a major festival in the Oromia region regarded as the most populous area of the country.

This was confirmed on Thursday by authorities in the county who said that those arrested were allegedly “working to cause disturbances during the annual Irreecha thanksgiving festival, observed by the Oromo, the country’s largest ethnic group.”

READ ALSO: Two suspects arrested in Ethiopia over fatal shooting of popular musician

According to Oromia police commissioner, Ararsa Merdasa, in addition to the individuals arrested, a number of firearms, pistols and hand grenades were seized.

The arrests come amid growing concerns about political violence in the country with the forthcoming festival expected to be celebrated on Saturday and Sunday in the capital, Addis Ababa, and across Oromia.

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