Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Ethiopia: Four killed as Muslim protesters attack Ethiopia prison

  Four people were killed in eastern Ethiopia when a group of armed demonstrators raided a police station following protests over alleged government interference in Muslim affairs, an official said on Monday.
Thousands of people have staged weekly street protests and mosque sit-ins in the Horn of Africa country's capital for nearly a year, arguing that the government is promoting an "alien" branch of Islam - the Al Ahbash sect - which is avowedly apolitical and has numerous adherents in the United States.
The protesters say the government controls Ethiopia's highest Muslim body, the Supreme Council on Islamic Affairs, and has prevented long-overdue elections that could bring alternative views onto the Council.
Officials deny interference and accuse the demonstrators of plotting to spread "extremism" in the country, which is 63 percent Christian and 34 percent Muslim, according to official figures.
The Council held polls two weeks ago but some members of the Muslim community had called for boycotts.

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