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Ethiopia explosion: Six suspects in custody, as allies express support for Abiy’s reforms

Several allies of Ethiopia have condoled with Ethiopians following a grenade attack that injured over 100 people at a rally organised in Addis Ababa on Saturday to express support for reforms by the new prime minister, Abiy Ahmed.

The Ethiopian health minister, Amir Aman confirmed that one person had succumbed to their injuries, while at least 156 people were receiving treatment for injuries sustained during the grenade attack that happened this morning, just after Abiy finished his speech to the hundreds of thousands gathered.

Media portal Addis Standard reported that six suspects have under custody and are being investigated, according to the Commissioner General of the Ethiopian Federal Police Commission, Zeynu Jemal.

Messages of support have started pouring in from Ethiopia’s allies including the president of Djibouti, who described the attack as one done by people ‘who want to oppose the bold reforms to develop and strengthen national unity’ initiated by Abiy.

‘‘We reaffirm our commitment to Ethiopia’s stability as a strategic partner for the region’s economic development,’‘ president Ismail Omar Guelleh tweeted.

Addressing the nation on television shortly afterwards, Abiy said the attack was an “attempt by forces who do not want to see Ethiopia united.”

Abiy had promised in his rally speech to bring more transparency to government and reconciliation to a nation torn by years of protests. When speaking on television, he was still wearing a green T-shirt handed to him by rally organisers.

Eritrea, which has long been at loggerheads with Ethiopia over a border row that Abiy has sought to resolve, also condemned the incident.

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