Ethiopia declares three days national mourning following deaths of 52

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Photo courtesy: Rappler

 

The Ethiopian government has declared three days of national mourning following the deaths of at least 52 people in a stampede that occurred during a protest at a religious festival in the Oromia region on Sunday.

It is however not yet clear what caused the deaths.

In a statement released on Ethiopia’s state broadcaster, the government said the mourning is meant to “commemorate innocent citizens who lost their lives because of the violence instigated by anti-peace forces”.

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn earlier blamed rioters for the “mayhem” which led to a stampede.

Opposition activists however say the panic was triggered by security forces that fired teargas canisters and bullets into the large crowd that had gathered for a thanksgiving ceremony.

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