October 22, 2012 (ADDIS ABABA) - Police in Ethiopia killed two Muslim protesters in Gerba town in South Wollo Zone of the Amhara Regional State, according to local sources.
- Muslims celebrate Eid in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (BBC)
Other civilians were also injured during the clash with members of the federal police on Sunday. One police officer was killed, while another was injured after being attacked by a group of protesters.
Witnesses say the clash took place during the Muslim Council elections. Police said the situation is now under control and perpetrators have been taken into custody.
South Wollo police described those killed as Muslim “extremists”.
The Muslim community in Ethiopia has recently intensified their protests against what they allege is government interference in religious affairs; an allegation Addis Ababa denies.
Addressing the parliament Ethiopia’s newly elected prime minister, Haile Mariam Desalegn, last week warned against any hidden political activities made under the pretext of religion.
The killing of the two men raises the total Muslim protesters killed in the last six months by government security forces to at least six.
Police forces killed four Muslims in Asossa town of Oromia Regional State in May.
The protesters were accused of attempting to disrupt the continental assembly.
Ethiopian Muslims are estimated to make up 35 percent of the country’s 81 million predominantly Christian population.