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Ethiopia Police turn peaceful protest to stampede killing 50 people



Ethiopia Police turn peaceful protest to stampede killing 50 people
A rather peaceful demonstration by anti-government protesters turned bloody when police in Ethiopia’s Oromiya region fired teargas and warning shots on Sunday to disperse marchers at a religious festival.
The action by the police triggered a stampede that the opposition party said killed at least 50 people.
The government did not give a precise death toll resulting from chaotic scenes during the annual festival where some people chanted slogans against the government and waved a rebel group’s flag. But it said “lives were lost” and that several were injured.
The annual Irreecha festival of thanksgiving in the town of Bishoftu, about 40 km (25 miles) south of the capital Addis Ababa witnessed the gathering of thousands of people with crowds chanting “we need freedom” and “we need justice”, preventing community elders, deemed close to the government, from delivering their speeches at the festival.
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