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|Monday, May 14, 2001, updated at 07:50(GMT+8)|
Motive to Murder Ethiopian Intelligence Chief Still UnclearThe Ethiopian government has not given any explanation on the assassin's motive to murder the country's intelligence chief, be it political or personal, despite all kinds of speculations in the capital city.
Ethiopian National Security Chief Kinfe Gebremedhin, a close ally to Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, was shot dead on Saturday morning at the Armed Forces Officer's club in the capital by Major Tsehay Woldesilassie, a member of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF).
Woldesilassie, also team head of the purchasing and market research division of the Ethiopian National Defense Ministry, had been arrested by the police while trying to escape and the police have been conducting an investigation into the murder, according to the Ethiopian News Agency.
Observers here said that Kinfe's death is a heavy loss for the Ethiopian government which is facing a critical situation in the country.
Kinfe, 46, a politburo member of the TPLF, had played a leading role in seeking a peaceful solution to the recent rift within the Central Committee of the TPLF.
The TPLF is a dominant group within the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), an alliance which also comprises Amhara National Democratic Movement an Oroma People's Democratic Organization.
Since the assassination of Kinfe, speculation has been raising in the capital, and some diplomats here said that the assassination looked like the work of the splinter group that broke off from the TPLF and the move was aimed at isolating the prime minister and weakening his power.
But some held that the dissenting group composed of 10 members of the Central Committee of the TPLF could not engage in the assassination, believing that the assassin had been probably an result of the assassin's personal grievances with the security chief.
Whether the speculation is true or not, the assassination took place at a time when the Meles government is facing challenges from the TPLF dissidents and the students demonstration which had led to riots in the capital leaving, which killed at least 31 people and injured more than 200 others.
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