Authorities in Ethiopia have indicated that the head of the Prosperity Party, which is in power in the country’s Amhara region, and members of his security detail have been shot and killed.
According to a statement released by the communications office of the region, Girma Yeshitla was ambushed approximately 250km (155 miles) north of Addis Ababa while he was on his way back from an official trip, the BBC reported.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed called the killing “shameful and horrible” and blamed it on unnamed “violent extremists” who he said chose to settle differences through guns rather than dialogue.
Several weeks following the announcement by the federal government regarding the dissolution of a paramilitary force, which had incited widespread protests and violence in Amhara, the killing occurred.
Mr Girma faced strong criticism from opponents of the force’s dissolution, who saw him as one of the faces behind the move.
The killing of senior politicians is not new in Amhara. In 2019, the regional leader and other top officials were killed in what was described as a failed regional coup attempt.