Blast at Ethiopian PM’s rally sparks panic

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption'Ethiopian PM Ahmed said release Tsege or I resign

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption'Ethiopian PM Ahmed said release Tsege or I resign

Ethiopia's government says it has removed internet restrictions on 246 websites and TV channels, the latest reform under the country's new prime minister.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed waves to supporters at a rally in Addis Ababa before an explosion killed several participants.

At least 114 people were hospitalized with injuries, some of them critical, said Solomon Ali of Ethiopia Red Cross Society.

"The prime minster was the target", Seyoum Teshome, a rally organizer, told the AP. Another witness told Reuters the assailant who carried the grenade had been wrestled to the ground by police before it exploded.

The explosion in packed Meskel Square in the capital, Addis Ababa, followed weeks of reforms that had shocked many in the East African nation after years of anti-government tensions, states of emergency, thousands of arrests and long internet shutdowns.

The blast came just as the master of ceremonies was welcoming viewers from overseas and said in English "this is the day that Ethiopia has become proud".

The rally was being held in support of the 41-year-old leader, who took office in April.

Marijuana Sales to Be Legal in Canada Starting in October: Trudeau
Canada will be just the second country - and the first G7 nation - to legalize marijuana for adults at the national level. California , home to one in eight Americans, launched the United States' biggest legal marijuana marketplace on Jan 1.

Addressing the country minutes after he was hurried to safety, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said "a few people" had been killed and others injured. Killing is a sign of defeat. "I saw some five people injured following the blast".

It added the decision "takes into full consideration our preparedness and determination to foil any attempt to derail the current change process by anti-change elements within EPRDF", referring to Abiy's ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).

In another of Abiy's major policy shifts, the prime minister has said Ethiopia would open its state-run telecoms monopoly and state-owned Ethiopian Airlines [ETHA.UL] to private domestic and foreign investment, both moves would loosen the state's grip.

"All the casualties are martyrs of love and peace", Dr Abiy said.

The state broadcaster quickly cut away from coverage of the rally, which has broken up with people singing, chanting and going back to their homes.

Abiy had promised in his rally speech to bring more transparency to government and reconciliation to a nation torn by years of protests.

Eritrea shortly after the announcement replied that it had always accepted the peace deal.

Latest News