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Ethiopian government launches probe into deadly stampede

PROBE: The Ethiopian government will investigate the deadly stampede

THE ETHIOPIAN government has launched an investigation after more than 50 people were killed at a religious festival over the weekend.

The African Union (AU) has stated that it welcomes the decision by the East African country's government to investigate the cause of a stampede that killed 52 people on Sunday (Oct 2)

"The AU Commission Chairperson welcomes the government’s efforts to investigate the cause of the stampede and to bring to justice those responsible, while calling for calm and peace," an AU statement said.

The statement added that chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma welcomed the three-days of mourning declared by the government.

The deadly stampede occurred at the annual Irrecha festival of thanksgiving in Bishoftu town in the Oromia region – a region known for its protests which have often been clamped down upon by security forces.

PROTESTS: Demonstrators chant slogans while flashing the Oromo protest gesture during Irreecha

The government blamed elements they called "anti-peace forces" for the deadly stampede.

“As a result of the chaos, lives were lost and several of the injured were taken to hospital … Those responsible will face justice,” the government communications office stated.

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