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June 07, 1989

Ethiopian President Mengistu Haile Mariam said more than 180 top military officers are being held in connection with a bloody coup attempt last month in which 11 mutinous generals were killed. At a rare news conference in Addis Ababa, the Marxist president gave details of the May 16 attempt for the first time. He said 27 senior army officers, 11 of them generals, were killed by troops who quelled the revolt, which took place while Mengistu was on a state visit to East Germany. Two coup leaders, armed forces Chief of Staff Merid Negusie and air force commander Amha Desta, committed suicide on the day of the attempt when they realized that their plans had been discovered, according to Mengistu.

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