‘Two killed’ in Ethiopia protests over shot singer

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Two people have been killed in protests in Ethiopia sparked by the killing of Hachalu Hundessa, well known for his political songs, doctors told the BBC.

They were shot dead in the eastern town of Chiro, a medic at the local hospital told BBC Afaan Oromo.

In another town – Adama – one person was injured and government buildings have been set ablaze.

The 34-year-old musician had said that he had received death threats.

Hachalu’s lyrics often focused on the rights of the country’s Oromo ethnic group and became anthems in a wave of protests that led to the downfall of the previous prime minister.

On Tuesday morning, large crowds of protesters poured into the capital from the surrounding Oromia region, snarling roads with stones and blocking traffic, the AFP news agency reports.

Some chanted honouring Hachalu while carrying Oromia flags.

“One day we will be free. Hachalu, the blood you shed won’t be in vain,” they chanted.

The motive for Hachalu’s killing was not immediately clear but police had detained “some suspects,” Addis Ababa police commissioner Getu Argaw told state-linked Fana news site.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has expressed his condolences saying in a tweet that Ethiopia “lost a precious life today” and describing the singer as “marvellous”.