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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 June, 2005, 13:39 GMT 14:39 UK
Ethiopians seek missing relatives
Body at the Black Lion Hospital in Addis Ababa
Many of the dead and injured had gunshot wounds
Relatives are visiting hospitals in Ethiopia's capital seeking news of loved ones after Wednesday's violence in which 22 protesters were killed.

A further four have since died of their wounds, with 10 bodies still to be unidentified, say police.

European Union observer head Ana Gomes condemned the deaths and expressed deep concern at "the dangerous situation Ethiopia was now facing".

Addis Ababa is a ghost town with only a heavy police presence on the streets.

The city has seen three days of street protests over the ruling party's alleged massive election fraud and hundreds of young people have been arrested.

Doctors at city hospitals are working frantically to treat the wounded, many of whom have gunshot wounds.

At the Menelik II Hospital morgue, five narrow wooden coffins were laid out, according to Reuters news agency.

Fakedu Kibret had gone to collect his 34-year-old brother's body. "I'm deeply sad, not just for my brother but everyone who has died," he said.

'Gangsters'

The BBC's Mohammed Adow in Addis Ababa reports that hundreds of policemen and troops are patrolling the otherwise deserted streets.

A taxi strike which began on Wednesday morning is continuing and many shops are closed.

HAVE YOUR SAY
I can't blame the government, the police or the peace forces for what is happening
Samuel Arkebe, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

The Marcato and Piazza markets, scene of the shootings, are also shut.

Final results have not been announced three weeks after the parliamentary election as reports of alleged fraud are investigated.

The United States, United Kingdom and United Nations have urged restraint from the government and opposition.

Ms Gomes also criticised the house arrest of the main opposition leader and his deputy on Wednesday.

Hailu Shawul heads the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD), which denies organising student protests in Addis Ababa at alleged election fraud.

State radio blamed Wednesday's violence on "gangsters" while a government minister blamed the CUD directly.

Our reporter says that Wednesday's shooting began after army special forces arrived at the central business district, where protesters were throwing stones.

However, it is unclear whether the gunfire came from the heavily armed troops or the regular police, our correspondent says.

Opposition blamed

Journalists reported seeing at least four bodies with bullet wounds in the head in one hospital and the number of injured was put at about 100.

Information Minister Bereket Simon told the BBC the opposition was trying to overthrow a legitimate government in what he called a Ukrainian-style revolution.

Ethiopian students demonstrate outside Addis Ababa Tegbareed Industrial College in the capital's Mexico area
Protests began on Monday when some 500 students were arrested
According to the minister, seven buses were destroyed and businesses and banks damaged by looters. He denied police had used excessive force to restore order.

Wednesday's killings came after two days of student protests in which police beat back protesters with batons and rifle butts, as well as firing warning shots in the air, witnesses said.

The UK Foreign Office has warned citizens travelling in Ethiopia to be cautious and says that tension is spreading to other towns and cities.

According to provisional election results, the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front and its allies have won 320 seats so far, giving it a majority in the 547-member parliament.

The opposition have, however, won almost 200 seats - a huge gain from the 12 they had in the previous parliament.




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The casualties arrive at hospital



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