Ethiopia ‘coup ring leader’ Brigadier General Asaminew Tsige assassinated

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The suspected ringleader of Saturday’s failed coup attempt in Ethiopia’s Amhara region has been killed.

Police said Brigadier General Asaminew Tsige was shot dead as he attempted to escape from his hideout.

Reports said earlier that Tsige was on the run with some of his supporters on Monday after a number of other plotters were arrested.

Reuters news agency quoted a senior government official as saying that General Asamnew Tsige masterminded gun attacks that killed four people including the national army’s chief of staff and Amhara’s state president on Saturday night.

“The main people behind the failed coup are still at large and the security forces are hunting them,” the prime minister’s press secretary, Negussu Tilahun, said.

Army chief of staff Seare Mekonnen and a retired officer were shot by Seare’s bodyguard at his residence in the national capital Addis Ababa, the prime minister’s office said

Amhara state president Ambachew Mekonnen and an adviser were killed in the region’s main city Bahir Dar, it added.

“Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has pushed through sweeping changes since coming to power in April, making peace with Eritrea, reining in the security services, releasing political prisoners and lifting bans on some outlawed separatist groups. The changes have won him widespread international praise. But the premier’s shake-up of the military and intelligence services has earned him powerful enemies at home, while his government is struggling to contain powerful figures in Ethiopia’s myriad ethnic groups fighting the federal government and each other for greater influence and resources,” Reuters added.

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