ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA, OCT. 10 -- Police and Army officers were injured in clashes with university students during a rare protest in the capital, diplomats and witnesses said today.
The security forces of Ethiopian President Mengistu Haile Mariam's Marxist government surrounded Addis Ababa University and blocked all access to the campus yesterday, they said.
A number of police officers reportedly were injured by rocks hurled by the students.
An unconfirmed account said several shots were fired by the security forces, which included police and Army troops.
Ethiopian authorities did not immediately comment on the incident.
The students, in demonstrations that began Thursday, demanded the firing of university president Abey Kiflet, improved medical services and better food, sources said. The unrest ended yesterday after students met with a government official who promised to meet some of their demands, they said.
A western diplomat said active opposition is rare in Ethiopia and normally meets with severe punishment.
Students played a prominent role in helping propel Mengistu to power in 1977. The capital university was the scene of frequent rioting during the final days of the feudal regime of emperor Haile Selassie, who was deposed by left-wing Army officers in 1974.
Officials who have defected to the West in the past year have accused Mengistu of imposing totalitarian rule in the country.