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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 November 2005, 14:34 GMT
Violence across Ethiopian capital
Wounded person at the Black Lion Hospital
Doctors said most of the dead had been shot in the chest
At least 23 people have been shot dead in a second day of violence in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa.

Hundreds of heavily armed police and troops deployed across the city as the sounds of heavy machine guns and loud explosions reverberated.

Doctors told reporters of more than 150 people coming to hospital wounded in clashes between stone-throwing opposition supporters and police.

The opposition resumed protests this week over polls they say were rigged.

They are the worst disturbances in Africa's second most populous country since protests ignited after the May elections when some 36 people died and hundreds were arrested.

The police were looking for rioters and burst into our compound... fired tear gas and then threw a grenade
Abdul Fatal

The BBC's Mohammed Adow in Addis Ababa said clashes between police and protestors erupted early on Wednesday morning and spread across the city, reaching the doorstep of the British and French embassies.

The injured include a seven-year-old boy who was shot in the hip.

"We are protesting because the government stole the election. People are angry because the police are very cruel," Ghebremichael Ayele told Reuers news agency.

Hospital sources in Addis Ababa say many of those killed died from bullet wounds. Eight died in violence on Tuesday, including two policemen.


Workers at the United Nations headquarters were advised against leaving their offices and hardly any part of the capital has been spared the skirmishes, our correspondent says.

The crowd was full of tears and pensive hearts. There were also gunshots everywhere
Alazar, Addis Ababa

Most business premises in the town remained closed for a second day and there were far fewer buses and private vehicles on the streets than normal.

Armoured vehicles patrolled most streets that were littered with burning tyres and broken glass and some civilians told AP news agency that they were targeted indiscriminately by police.

"The police were looking for rioters and burst into our compound. They fired tear gas and then threw a grenade," 44-year-old Abdul Fatal said.


The main opposition party, the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD), launched fresh protests this week over the election results after their new MPs refused to attend parliamentary sessions.

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi
The opposition say Meles rigged elections in May

Security officers have arrested all 15 members of the CUD's Central Committee and about 1,000 supporters according to a lawyer for the party.

Information Minister Berhan Hailu said the government was "sorry and sad", but blamed the violence on the CUD.

Opposition spokesman Gizachew Shiferaw accused the police of using excessive force, but urged supporters to stay calm.

Mr Meles' EPRDF won a majority in polls but the opposition gained many seats.

The Ethiopian government has dismissed an assessment by European Union monitors that the elections failed to meet international standards.

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