ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Ethiopia’s army chief of staff was shot while trying to thwart an attempted coup on Saturday in a federal state north of the capital Addis Ababa, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said.
Speaking on state television late on Saturday, Abiy said General Seare Mekonnen was one of several casualties. But his press secretary, Billene Seyoum, told Reuters later that it was unclear whether General Seare had been killed or wounded.
“He was shot by people who are close to him,” Abiy said.
The prime minister said the general had been trying to prevent plotters carrying out a coup in Amhara state, one of Ethiopia’s nine federal states.
Since coming to power last year, Abiy has tried to spearhead political reforms, to open up the once isolated, security-obsessed country of 100 million people on the Horn of Africa.