Blast kills several at rally for new Ethiopian leader

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

An explosion hit a rally attended by the Ethiopian Prime Minister in Addis Ababa on Saturday, leaving dozens injured, officials say.

A live broadcast by Ethiopia's government press agency captured the sound of the blast and the reaction of Ahmed from the stage.

He said "a few people" had been killed and others were injured in the blast which he called a "well-orchestrated attack" that had failed. "Someone tried to hurl it to the stage where the prime minister was in", Seyoum Teshome, a member of the organising committee, said.

He later confirmed people had been injured in the blast.

He urged Prime Minister Abiy to continue with his task of uniting the Ethiopians and make the country stable so as to sustain economic growth.

One broadcaster - the US-based OMN station - has sent a team to establish an office in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa.

The reformist prime minister said: 'Love always wins. Killing is a sign of defeat. "To those who tried to divide us, I want to tell you that you have not succeeded".

While Ethiopia is one of Africa's fastest-growing economies, tiny Eritrea is one of the world's most closed-off nations, ruled by Afwerki since gaining independence from Ethiopia in 1993 after years of rebel warfare.

It was Abiy's first public speech in the capital since he took office in April, although he has made several in provincial areas.

Websites were unblocked and opposition figures were invited to dinner.

At the rally, people wore T-shirts proclaiming support for Abiy but also openly displayed the flags of banned groups such as the Oromo Liberation Front, an act that would usually result in arrest.

In a cowboy hat and T-shirt, Mr Abiy told the tens of thousands of supporters that change was coming and there was no turning back.

In February, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn abruptly resigned, citing ongoing "unrest and a political crisis" in the country as major factors in his decision.

State television quickly cut away from coverage of the rally, which has since broken up.

Eritrea's ambassador to Japan, Estifanos Afeworki, on Twitter said the delegation will pursue "constructive engagement".

Ryan Cummings, a political and security risk analyst, said the attack on Saturday is unlikely to force Abiy to change course.

Recommended News

  • Politicians can't ignore the people: Lammy on anti-Brexit march

    Politicians can't ignore the people: Lammy on anti-Brexit march

    He said the threat had "added credibility because if we were to leave, the economic impact on a number of European countries would be severe".
    Michael Cohen, Tom Arnold photo fuels Trump tape speculation

    Michael Cohen, Tom Arnold photo fuels Trump tape speculation

    After, Arnold told NBC News that he met with Cohen as part of a show he is working on for Vice. The actor has known Trump and Cohen for years and is shockingly close to this investigation.
    Coutinho, Neymar strike late to guide Brazil past Costa Rica

    Coutinho, Neymar strike late to guide Brazil past Costa Rica

    Neymar , overcome by emotion on the whistle, covered his face with his hands as tears streamed down his cheeks. Neymar then angrily punched the ball a short time later as Costa Rica's players tried to waste time .
  • Trump overstates order on family separation

    Trump overstates order on family separation

    Kevin Clarke, spokesman for Naval Air Station-Kingsville, said there are no plans to bring immigrant families to the base. The federal public defender's office for the region that covers cases from El Paso to San Antonio said Thursday the U.S.
    Dragon Ball FighterZ To Release On Nintendo Switch On September 28th

    Dragon Ball FighterZ To Release On Nintendo Switch On September 28th

    These events are presented by Fathom Events and Toei Animation, and tickets can be found at Fathom Events' website . Three different Dragon Ball Z movies have been remastered and are coming to select theaters this fall.
    US Online Shopping Is About To Get More Expensive

    US Online Shopping Is About To Get More Expensive

    The top court in the U.S. has ruled that states can force online companies to collect sales tax from their customers. The exact impact of the ruling on Florida's sales tax collections is unknown but it could be significant.
  • Saudi Arabia lifts ban on women drivers

    Saudi Arabia lifts ban on women drivers

    Al-Fireiji, 60, quickly clarified that while there was "nothing wrong" with previous Saudi rulers, now is the time for change. Prince Mohammed is set to inherit a country where more than half of its 20 million citizens are under the age of 25.
    Trumps Calls for Establishment of Space Force as the Sixth Military Branch

    Trumps Calls for Establishment of Space Force as the Sixth Military Branch

    It includes more than 36,000 personnel around the world that provide space and cyber capabilities for the Defense Department. She warned that the militarization of space "could be fraught with consequences no less harmful than the nuclear arms race".
    Emilia Clarke says goodbye to ‘Game of Thrones’

    Emilia Clarke says goodbye to ‘Game of Thrones’

    Emilia Clarke has paid an emotional goodbye to Game of Thrones after visiting the set of the HBO fantasy drama for one final time. The Internet had a "panic attack" of sorts after reading Emilia's post, which doesn't reveal the fate of her character.
  • 'Fixer Upper' Stars Chip and Joanna Welcome New Baby Boy

    'Fixer Upper' Stars Chip and Joanna Welcome New Baby Boy

    The home makeover couple proudly shared that the newborn was in good health, even though he arrived more than two weeks early. Chip said in a tweet . 'Our baby boy, Crew Gaines, is here and we couldn't be more in love, ' she gushed in the caption.
    European Union  takes first step towards passing controversial copyright law

    European Union takes first step towards passing controversial copyright law

    The second controversial provision of the legislation is Article 11, which The Verge describes as a Link Tax. Another Twitter user tweeted: "15 MEPs voted for upload filtering". "These measures will break the internet".

    SpaceX wins $130M Air Force contract to launch spy satellite

    This week's award served as the first indication that the Falcon Heavy had been certified for national security launches. In comparison, the cargoes could be heavier than a 737 jetliner loaded with passengers, crew, luggage, and fuel.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.