The chief of staff of Ethiopia’s army has been killed by his own body guard in a coup attempt.
Gen Seare Mekonnen was killed together with at least three other senior officials.
They were trying to prevent a coup attempt by an army general in the northern state of Amhara.
The country’s prime minister, Ahmed Abiy denounced the incident in state television broadcast late on Saturday.
Those behind the attempted coup however succeeded in killing the Amhara’s state president Ambachew Mekonnen and his advisor as well.
The state media named General Asamnew Tsige who happens to be the region’s security head as the orchestrator of the attempted coup.
The killings reportedly happened during a shooting incident while federal officials were holding a meeting with the state president.
The meeting was to discuss how to deal with the recruitment of ethnic militias by General Asamnew Tsige, according to Reuters reporting.
Abiy condemns attack
Abiy said on state television late on Saturday that the Ethiopian Chief of Staff General Seare Mekonnen “was shot by people who are close to him.”
State media reported that most of the perpetrators had been arrested. Brigadier General Tefera Mamo, the head of special forces in Amhara was quoted as saying that “most of the people who attempted the coup have been arrested, although there are a few still at large.”
The state of Amhara is Ethiopia’s second most populous region and home to people belonging to the Amhara ethnic group.
The national language of Amharic originates from the Amhara state. But there is continued violence between the Amhara and Gumuz ethnic groups.
Many people have been killed in both states due to fighting with the latest clashes happening in May of this year.
This particular fighting and other ethnic clashes in Ethiopia have displaced millions and are largely over land disputes.