Police in Ethiopia fired tear gas at young Muslim protesters on Monday, during Eid-ul-fitr prayers to mark the end of Ramadan.
The incident which took place outside the Addis Ababa international stadium while faithfuls were praying, was described by the Addis Ababa police as “a riot” triggered by a “few individuals.”
It was reported that while prayers were ongoing, some Muslim faithfuls began to chant slogans such as “Justice for Gondar,” “Don’t kill our people!”, “Don’t burn our mosques.”
They were also throwing stones at people, including the police who instinctively began to fire tear gas in a bid to deaden the uproar. This caused a clash between the police and the faithfuls.
There are reports that the subtle picket which led to the destruction of property before calm was finally restored, had a direct link with the anti-muslim attacks which happened last week at the Sheikh Elias Cemetery in Gondar, a predominantly christian neighbourhood. The Muslims were believed to protesting against the killings of Muslims and destruction of Mosques in Ethiopia.
“The organised armed group in Gondar which staged the attack with bombs and machine guns are accountable for what happened there”, Ustaz Mohammed, Board member of Addis Ababa Muslim council submitted.
Christians form the majority of the population in Ethiopia, while about 33 per cent are Muslims. The country has witnessed religious conflicts over time, and only recently, some group of Muslims were attacked while going about their normal business to bury someone. Twenty worshipers were killed with several others surviving multiple injuries.
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