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Ethiopia riots leave 24 dead

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia -- The Ethiopian government has blamed opposition groups for taking advantage of student protests which have left at least 24 people dead.

Another 50 people were injured during the two days of clashes at a student demonstration in Addis Ababa over political rights and academic freedom.

Security forces are reported to have opened fire when students began throwing stones are government buildings and setting cars of fire.

The capital was reportedly calm on Friday but the government has warned opposition political parties to "refrain from trying to exploit the situation and promote anarchy in the city," and shut Addis Ababa University indefinitely.

Hospital sources said most of the victims died of gunshot wounds.

A doctor at Menelik Hospital said 22 bodies had been brought from the streets to the hospital, adding that 52 people were injured, and that two of those subsequently died.

The violence on Tuesday and Wednesday was the worst in the Ethiopian capital since 1993. It was not clear how many protesters were students.

Tension has been rising since police stormed the campus of Addis Ababa University last week during a student protest. Many of the striking students were beaten and injured.

Although the authorities gave in to many of the students' demands and lifted restrictions on their student council, police maintained a heavy presence on the campus, prompting the students to remain on strike.



RELATED STORIES:
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RELATED SITE:
Ethiopia Government spokesperson

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