March 27, 2006
Two Three Four blasts - one death
A passenger in a 'blue donkey' minibus died after a blast tore apart the back seat of the vehicle at about 9.30am. It happened on the inbound carriageway of busy Debre Zeit Road, around the Kirkos district. Reuters reported that "a second blast occurred outside the gate of an abattoir in the city but no one was hurt, police said".
Again people seem to be taking things in their stride - although this is the first fatality caused by these blasts. Two hours after the explosion, all that was left at the scene was a pool of petrol. Traffic flows and roadside business was back to normal.
No one so far has managed to come up with a clear explanation of who is behind all this. Journalists are starting to talk of "mysterious explosions"; the government blamed the last blasts on Eritrean-backed "terrorists" with smuggled plastic explosives.
It is worrying that public transport is now being targeted. For me it is also puzzling that they don't seem interested in high-profile targets. Their main aim seems to be intimidating "ordinary" Ethiopians on their way to work.
UPDATE: Another explosion boomed out around 3pm, this time from a café near the Mexico area of Addis (see pic), making it at least three explosions today.
On the scene, you didn't have to be an expert to see the seat of the blast - someone had wedged the explosive between the thin trunk of a tree and the metal cafe wall, just a foot away from one of the tables inside. There is no doubt that whoever placed it there meant to injure people.
No one was sure how many were hurt. Someone on the scene told me 40. An hour earlier, somone had told other reporters it was 10. A car outside had its roof smashed in by the tree. There were two pools of blood next to the nearest table. Everywhere else there was broken glass, twisted metal walls and people's half-eaten snacks sitting on smashed plates.
UPDATE 2: A fourth blast left no injuries according to AFP
Police said a fourth explosion had occurred in the capital's northeastern Teklehaimanot district but had not caused any injuries.
"I think the explosions are due to criminal acts but the cases are under investigation. They are not accidents, I think," [police spokesman Demsach Hailu] told AFP.
There goes my "it was all an accident" theory.
UPDATE 3: Sorry to everyone whose comments have not been published below. Call me a coward, but I 'm not going to let through any direct accusations of blame - so far none of the posts have come with any forensic evidence attached.
Posted by aheavens at March 27, 2006 11:11 AM