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Police forcefully disperse protests held by Ethiopians against ISIS killings

The police have today forcibly dispersed thousands of protestors who came out to the streets to protest the killings by ISIS militants of 28 Christian Ethiopians in Libya. A video released by the Islamic State group on Sunday April 19th appears to show the killing of two different groups of captured Ethiopian Christians by the extremist group’s Libyan affiliates.

The national parliament was summoned for an emergency meeting this morning and declared that three days of national mourning will be observed as of tomorrow, Wed. April 22, 2015. Ethiopian flags all over the country as well as international organizations and Ethiopian embassies abroad will fly at half mast during the three days mourning.

Fana Broadcasting Corporation (FBD) reported that the government was organizing demonstrations for tomorrow. However thousands of unorganized voluntary demonstrators have packed the Ckerkos neighborhood, home to two of the 28 victims identified so far, as of this morning. The city administration has quickly deployed both city police and federal forces in and around the area preventing demonstrators from marching towards the headquarters of the African Union and the national palace, located on opposite directions. The demonstration lasted for nearly four hours.

According Addis Standard’s reporters and informants on the scene, demonstrators were chanting emotional slogans, among others: “where is our government,” “justice for the dead,” “sovereignty is the safety of citizens everywhere in the world,” and “don’t tell us they are not ours,” the later in response to an earlier statement given by government spokesperson Redwan Hussien saying it was not clear if the victims were Ethiopians and that the Ethiopian embassy in Cairo was investigating the matter.

The 29-minute online video purports to show militants holding two groups of captives. It says one group is held by an IS affiliate in eastern Libya known as Barka Province and the other by an affiliate in the south calling itself the Fazzan Province, AP reported yesterday.


Ed’s Note: for minute by minute feed on the demonstration, please check @addisstandard on twitter

Photo: Robel Bisrat/Addis Standard

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