(AFP) ADDIS ABABA — Attackers hurled a bomb at a political meeting in Ethiopia, killing two people and wounding 14 others just over two weeks before national elections, a government spokesman said Friday.
The blast happened in Adaba in the Oromya region of southern Ethiopia on Thursday as members of a party from the ruling coalition were hosting a 20th anniversary ceremony, spokesman Shimelis Kemal told AFP.
“The suspects hurled the bomb at a ceremony attended by the region’s deputy administrator Abdulaziz Mohammed. There were two deaths from the blast while 14 sustained heavy and light wounds,” Shimelis said.
Shimelis said the blast did not wound any of the politicians, who were from the Oromo People’s Democratic Organisation, a member of the ruling EPRDF coalition.
“Three suspects have so far been apprehended, one of whom was a former soldier who was discharged for disciplinary reasons,” he said, declining to point to any group for responsibility.
Authorities have in the past blamed the secessionist Oromo Liberation Front for past attacks, and some opposition politicians have been arrested with links to the rebel group.
The blast was the second in the African nation in the space of two weeks, following an explosion in a small town along the border with Eritrea on April 24 which killed five people.
Ethiopia goes to the polls on May 23. The Oromya region has the country’s largest constituencies.
Around 30 million people have registered to vote for Ethiopia’s fourth elections since the Communist regime of Mengistu Haile Mariam was toppled in 1991.