The scene was uncertain and chaotic as Ethiopian police clashed with young Muslims in the capital during prayers to mark the end of Ramadan.
The fracas was brief as the police used tear gas to disperse the retaliatory crowd. The incident took place outside the Addis Ababa international stadium where the police described it as “a riot” caused by a “few individuals”.
An official said a policeman unintentionally fired tear gas at the crowd after some faithful provokingly started to chant slogans and throw stones. The capital’s police unit issued a statement saying properties had been damaged before calm was restored.
The stadium was so full for the Eid celebration that some worshippers gathered in the famous Meskel Square to pray.
The confrontation comes a week after anti-Muslim attacks took place north of the country. On Tuesday, April 25, an attack was executed during a Muslim burial at the Sheikh Elias Cemetery. The cemetery is located in the predominantly Christian city of Gondar. “The organized armed group in Gondar which staged the attack with bombs and machine guns are accountable for what happened there“, Ustaz Mohammed, Board member of Addis Ababa Muslim council says.
Some demonstrators threw stones at police, shouting “Justice for Gondar” and “Don’t burn our mosques, don’t kill our people.”
Ethiopia is largely a Christian nation and around 30 percent of the population are Muslim.