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Hachalu Hundessa: Popular Ethiopian singer and activist shot dead Hachalu Hundessa: Popular Ethiopian protest singer shot dead
(about 1 hour later)
Ethiopian musician Hachalu Hundessa, well known for his political songs, has been shot dead in the capital.Ethiopian musician Hachalu Hundessa, well known for his political songs, has been shot dead in the capital.
It is not known who was behind the killing but the 34-year-old had said that he had received death threats. The 34-year-old had said that he had received death threats and the police are now holding a number of suspects.
Hachalu's lyrics often focused on the rights of the country's Oromo ethnic group and had a role in a wave of protests that led to the downfall of the previous prime minister. Hachalu's lyrics often focused on the rights of the country's Oromo ethnic group and became anthems in a wave of protests that led to the downfall of the previous prime minister.
Current Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has expressed his condolences. Demonstrations broke out in response to the news of the musician's death.
On hearing about his death, thousands of his fans headed to the hospital in Addis Ababa where the body of the singer had been taken, BBC Afaan Oromo's Bekele Atoma reports. Gunshots have been heard in Addis Ababa and people set fire to tyres.
Police then used tear gas to disperse the crowd. Thousands of his fans headed to the hospital in the city where the body of the singer was taken on Monday night, BBC Afaan Oromo's Bekele Atoma reports.
The internet has been shut down in parts of the country and protests are expected, our correspondent adds. To them, he was a voice of his generation that protested against decades of government repression, he says.
Police used tear gas to disperse the crowd.
The internet was also shut down in parts of the country as protests spread in Oromia regional state.
Hachalu's body has now been taken to the town of Ambo, about 100km (62 miles) west of the capital.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has expressed his condolences saying in a tweet that Ethiopia "lost a precious life today" and describing the singer as "marvellous".
What were the Oromo protests about?
The Oromo, Ethiopia's largest ethnic group, have long complained of political and economic marginalisation.The Oromo, Ethiopia's largest ethnic group, have long complained of political and economic marginalisation.
Demonstrations erupted in 2016 and pressure built on the government.Demonstrations erupted in 2016 and pressure built on the government.
The ruling coalition eventually replaced then-Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn with Mr Abiy, who is Oromo himself.The ruling coalition eventually replaced then-Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn with Mr Abiy, who is Oromo himself.
He has brought in a series of reforms which has transformed what was considered a very oppressive state.He has brought in a series of reforms which has transformed what was considered a very oppressive state.
He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 primarily for making peace with long-time foe Eritrea, but his efforts in transforming Ethiopia were also recognised.