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Grenade attack during Prime Minister’s speech in Ethiopia’s capital leaves over 150 wounded

On Saturday, June 23rd 2018, a grenade attack targeted a political rally attended by Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, in Addis Ababa, the country’s capital. The attack left two dead and 156 wounded.

The incident occurred as the Prime Minister closed his speech, given before tens of thousands of people in Meskel Square.

This is the biggest incident of explosive violence recorded in Ethiopia since AOAV began recording in October 2010.

Of the seven incidents AOAV has recorded in Ethiopia, six have been caused by grenade attacks. The largest left at least 24 injured in a grenade attack on Addis Ababa in December 2015, which targeted a mosque during evening prayers.

Although, attacks have been increasing in recent months. Since 2017, AOAV has recorded four grenade attacks across the country prior to this most recent attack. Together, these have left at least 36 civilians killed or injured.

AOAV condemns the use of violence against civilians and the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. AOAV encourages all armed actors to stop using explosive weapons with wide-area affects where there is likely to be a high concentration of civilians.