National mourning after Ethiopia ‘coup attempt’


Gen Seare Mekonnen’s death was announced on state television on Sunday

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Ethiopia has declared a national day of mourning to mark the deaths of four top officials in what the government is saying were coordinated killings as part of a coup attempt in northern Amhara state.

On Saturday night, the chief of staff of the army, Gen Seare Mekonnen, was shot dead by his own bodyguard in the capital, Addis Ababa.

He and another officer, Gen Gezai Abera, died trying to prevent the coup attempt, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said.

In Amhara itself, regional governor Ambachew Mekonnen was killed along with an adviser.

Mr Ambachew was killed at a meeting in his office along with his senior adviser, Ezez Wasie, while the region’s attorney general was wounded.

The federal government says it has reason to think the attacks were linked.

The United Nations has called on the people of Ethiopia to show restraint and prevent more violence following the assassinations.

The government said the coup attempt had been led by the head of security in Amhara, Asaminew Tsige, who is said to be on the run.

He had been found guilty of a coup plot against the national government in 2008 and received life sentence.

He was released following an amnesty from Prime Minister Abiy last year after serving for 9 years.

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