ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia >> Ethiopia’s government foiled a coup attempt in a region outside the capital, Addis Ababa, the country’s prime minister said in a televised address late today.
The failed coup in the Amhara region was led by a high-ranking military official and others within the country’s military, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed told the state broadcaster.
Some people had been killed and others wounded in the operation, Abiy said in his address without giving details.
The U.S. Embassy reported gunfire in the capital today and urged people to be careful.
In Bahir Dar, capital of Amhara, residents told The Associated Press they could still hear gunshots late today. Ethiopia’s internet appeared to be shut down on Sunday.
The attempted coup in Amhara is the latest challenged to Abiy, who was elected last year as a reform-minded young leader.
Abiy has captured the imagination of many with his political and economic reforms, including the surprise acceptance of a peace agreement with bitter rival Eritrea, the opening of major state-owned sectors to private investment and the release of thousands of prisoners including opposition figures once sentenced to death.
Along the way he has faced some challenges. In June 2018, only months in office, an attempt to hurl a grenade at Abiy caused a deadly explosion at a massive rally in support of the sweeping changes in Ethiopia. Nine police officials were arrested over that incident, state media reported.
In October rebellious Ethiopian soldiers protested over pay, causing a security incident in the capital. Ethiopia’s army is one of the largest in Africa.
The country is a key regional security ally for the United States and others in the restive Horn of Africa region.