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Ethiopian Police Shoot At Crowd At Religious Festival, Five Killed

At least five people have been killed after police shot at a crowd chanting anti-government slogans on Sunday at a religious festival in the town of Waldiya.

The second day of the commemoration of epiphany – baptism of Christ – turned into an anti-government protest with businesses closed and roads blocked, BBC reports.

Dozens of people are reportedly injured from the shooting and receiving treatment at nearby hospitals.

This is the second fatal police shooting at a festival in two years. In 2016, dozens were killed in a stampede that ensued after police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to quell anti-government chants.

Ethiopia has faced series of anti-government demonstrations in the past three years calling for economic and political reforms as well as the respect of human rights and release of protesters.

Thousands of protesters have been jailed and hundreds killed since the beginning of protests in 2015 in the Oromia and Amhara regions. They were demanding for equal distribution of wealth and the development of their impoverished regions.

Opposition leaders were also arrested until recently when the government decided to release some leaders including Merera Gudina who had spent more than a year in jail.

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