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Ethiopia PM says Soldiers' Protest Attempt to Derail Reforms

FILE - Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed addresses a news conference in his office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia August 25, 2018.

Ethiopia's reformist prime minister says a confrontation with disgruntled soldiers last week was an attempt to derail dramatic reforms and "there were some sides who regretted I was not killed.''

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's comments to lawmakers Thursday indicated that the march on his office by dozens of soldiers was the latest attempt to challenge his rule. Abiy already has faced an assassination attempt since taking office in April.

The confrontation had been described as being over a "pay issue." Abiy, a former soldier, defused the situation by joining the troops in push-ups.

Earlier this week the Ethiopian National Defense Force chief said military officers suspected of inciting the confrontation were in custody.

Rebellious soldiers are a rare sight in Ethiopia, which has one of the largest armies in Africa.