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Eight shot dead, many injured in Ethiopia violence
Updated: 2005-06-08 18:44

ADDIS ABABA - At least eight Ethiopians were shot dead and scores more injured on Wednesday during a third day of unrest over last month's disputed elections, a Reuters witness said.

The witness said he saw eight people dead from gunshot wounds, some of whom had been shot in the head. Many others were being transported to the Black Lion hospital in Addis Ababa with injuries.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the shooting.

"The whole hospital was literally packed with injured," the Reuters journalist said. Ambulances streamed in with new injury victims, most of them with gunshot wounds, as hundreds of relatives wailed and wept in packed wards.

A government spokesman told Reuters he was checking with security forces to find out what had happened.

The shootings on Wednesday bring to at least nine the number of people killed since protests against a May 15 parliamentary election broke out on Monday.

There were fears Wednesday's death toll could climb.

The main opposition accuses the ruling party of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of rigging the poll. The ruling party in turn accuses the opposition of fomenting anarchy and protests in defiance of a month-long ban on public demonstrations.

Hundreds -- including many students -- have been arrested and scores injured since Monday in clashes with police and paramilitary troops who have flooded the capital's streets in armored trucks to enforce the ban.

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