Published January 13, 2015
Riot police fired rubber bullets and tear gas Friday at hundreds of stone-throwing Muslims angered by the demolition of a half-built mosque in Ethiopia's capital, witnesses said.
Several people were bleeding in the streets, but the extent of their injuries was not clear.
More than 100 protesters were taken away in military trucks. Another 100 were under armed guard on the street.
At least one car was overturned and several others had windows smashed during the clashes in the capital's Merkato district, the main Muslim area of Addis Ababa.
The disturbances broke out after some houses and the half-built mosque were demolished because they had been illegally built on city administration-owned land, Federal Police Cmdr. Hailu Demsash said.
"Muslim leaders were unhappy about the new site that was offered for the mosque," he told The Associated Press. "Some people in the community began to make problems. The police took action to displace the large crowds."
Ethiopia's population of about 77 million is about 45 percent Christian and about the same percentage Muslim, with the rest following indigenous beliefs.