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Ethiopia says 2000 protest detainees released after counseling

Ethiopia says 2000 protest detainees released after counseling


<p>The Ethiopian government says it has released about 2000 detained anti-government protesters suspected of engaging in the recent violence in some parts of the country.</p> <p>Defense Minister Siraj Fegessa told the media on Sunday that the detainees were released after receiving education and counseling.</p> <p>The minister who oversees the implementation of the State of Emergency said over 1,500 illegal weapons were retrieved and over 400 people gave up their weapons under the 10-day amnesty programme, state media <span class="caps">FBC</span> reported.</p> <p>Siraj did not disclose the number of detained individuals when questioned.</p> <p>Ethiopia declared a state of emergency on October 9 to curb the unrest which turned violent leading to damage of properties including those of local and international businesses.</p> <p>Before the State of Emergency was imposed, over 50 people died on October 2 in a stampede at a festival in Bishoftu after police fired teargas and warning shots to disperse protesters at the event.</p> <p>At least 500 people have been killed and thousands arrested in the wave of anti-government protests in the Amhara and Oromia regions over the past months.</p> <p>International bodies including the United Nations and the European Union have called on the Ethiopian government to exercise restraint against protesters.</p>
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