BAHRDAR – At least three people were killed and seven others wounded on Friday after police opened fire to disperse protesters who were heading into the city center to defend a sacred site against government-sponsored demolition, a source said.
The protest in the restive capital of Amhara region erupted after the government moved to take over a church-owned holy site where annual ceremonies like Epiphany and Maskal (The founding of the True Cross) are held.
The government reportedly gave the area to investors who were trying to build a shopping zone.
The source said the move was felt by the city residents of Bahrdar as an insult that they took to the streets to stop construction activities.
The casualties couldn’t be independently confirmed, though many pictures of blood-soaked and seriously injured individuals were all over the social media. Gunshots were also heard on a 30-second video clip taken by an amateur photographer.
Despite public protests and killings in Ethiopia’s second or third largest country, major news agencies like AP, Reuters, AFP and BBC failed to report the crime, signifying that they are scared to lose their credentials by the repressive regime. EPRDF has in the past expelled or threatened to expel foreign journalists who covered incidents that incriminate the government.