THE man accused of trying to seize control of the country’s northern Amhara region is on the run.

General Asamnew Tsige fled the capital after masterminding Saturday night’s gun attacks that killed four people. Those killed included national army chief of staff Seare Mekonnen and Amhara state president Ambachew Mekonnen.

A senior government official said Asamnew fled with some of his supporters, but a number of other plotters had been arrested.

“The main people behind the failed coup are still at large and security forces are hunting them,” prime minister Abiy Ahmed’s press secretary, Negussu Tilahun, said.

Seare and a retired officer were shot by Seare’s bodyguard at his residence.

Ambachew and an adviser were killed in the region’s main city of Bahir Dar.

Access to the internet appeared to be blocked across the country yesterday.

Abiy has pushed through sweeping changes since coming to power in April, making peace with Eritrea, reining in the security services, releasing political prisoners and lifting bans on some outlawed separatist groups.

The changes have won him widespread international praise.

But his shake-up of the military and intelligence services has earned him powerful enemies. His government is also struggling to contain ethnic groups fighting for resources. – REUTERS