At least 83 people have been injured in an explosion at the first rally of Ethiopia’s new prime minister in the capital Addis Ababa.

Abiy Ahmed had just finished speaking to a crowd of tens of thousands when an attacker tried to throw a grenade towards the stage where he was sitting.

The perpetrator was held back by people nearby and three suspects – two men and a woman – were arrested, said rally organiser Seyoum Teshome.

When the explosion happened, dozens of people ran towards the stage, shouting anti-government chants and throwing objects at police, as the prime minister quickly left the scene.

He said “a few people” had been killed and others were injured in the blast which he called a “well-orchestrated attack” that had failed.

But it was later suggested by his chief of staff that no-one had died.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed waves to supporters at the rally

In a hat and bright green T-shirt, Mr Abiy earlier told his supporters that change was coming and there was no turning back.

“For the past 100 years hate has done a great deal of damage to us,” he said, stressing the need for even more reforms.

Mr Abiy, 42, took office in April and announced the release of tens of thousands of prisoners, the opening of state-owned companies to private investment and a peace deal with rival Eritrea.

He succeeded Hailemariam Desalegn, who resigned in February amid anti-government protests that started in late 2015 and left hundreds of people dead.



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