Ethiopia mourns top general killed in ‘coup attempt’

June 26, 2019
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ETHIOPIA has held a memorial for the army chief of staff, Gen. Seare Mekonnen, who was killed in an alleged coup attempt on Saturday.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was pictured weeping at the ceremony in Addis Ababa to honour the general.

The assassination was reportedly part of a coup attempt in the Amhara region.

Officials said the alleged attacker, the general’s bodyguard, is being treated for his injuries – contradicting an earlier claim that he was dead.

The alleged ringleader behind the attempted coup, Brig. Gen. Asaminew Tsige, was killed on Monday as he tried to escape from his hideout in Asmara’s capital, Bahir Dar, the police said.

Yesterday’s memorial service held at a large venue in the Ethiopian capital, amid tight security. Mourners paid their respects before flag-draped coffins bearing the bodies of Gen. Seare and Gen. Gezai Abera, a colleague who was assassinated with him.

Abiy was filmed wiping away his tears at the event, while soldiers eulogised the dead men.

In a statement on Monday evening, Ethiopian federal police apologised for having earlier said the alleged assassin, Gen. Seare’s bodyguard, had killed himself.

The latest statement from the police said the bodyguard, who has not been named, was being treated for gunshot wounds in hospital. It is not clear if the injuries were self-inflicted.

The internet has been shut across Ethiopia, after a brief resumption in service that followed an unexplained blackout lasting more than a week.

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