June 24, 2019 - 14:30 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Ethiopian officials say a coup attempt on Saturday, June 22 against the Amhara regional government has failed, CNN reports.
"We confirm there has been a coup attempt against the leadership of the Amhara regional state," said Ethiopian Press Secretary Negussu Tilahun.
He said the coup attempt in Bahir Dar, the regional capital, had failed.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said in a tweet that federal police have been authorized to "take action on the instigators."
It was not immediately known who was behind the failed coup.
Separately, the US Embassy in Addis Ababa issued a security alert saying it is aware of shots being fired in the capital, as well as violence in and around Bahir Dar.
Amhara, led by Ambachew Mekonnen, is located in the northwestern part of Ethiopia and is one of nine regional states in the country.
Ethiopia has undergone a remarkable political transformation since Abiy came to power in April 2018 following the resignation of former Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
Abiy's government freed thousands of political prisoners, unblocked hundreds of censored websites, ended the 20-year state of war with Eritrea, lifted a state of emergency, and planned to open key economic sectors to private investors, including the state-owned Ethiopian Airlines.
Ethiopia's parliament even appointed the country's first female president, Sahle-Work Zewde, and the nation's first Supreme Court chief, Meaza Ashenafi, was sworn into office.