Addis Ababa - Two protesters died in clashes with police in Ethiopia's ancient city of Gonder on Friday, campaigners said, as anger mounted over the status of a disputed territory - a highly-charged issue in a nation made up of a patchwork of ethnic groups.
Violence broke out as police brought one of the leaders of a land campaign movement to court, according to one person who said he had been in the crowd and asked to remain anonymous.
Amhara region president Gedu Andargachew did not mention any deaths but told journalists the protests were illegal and said security services would take measures against anyone who took part.
Any sign of unrest is closely watched in Ethiopia, a major Western ally against Islamist militants in neighbouring Somalia and an economic power seen as a centre of relative stability in a fragile region.
“Two protesters were shot and killed in Piassa,” said one campaigner by phone, referring to a central district in the city.