Ethiopian diplomat flees US after embassy shooting

An Ethiopian diplomat who opened fire to quell a protest outside his country's embassy in Washington has left the United States to avoid prosecution, a US official has said.

Washington: An Ethiopian diplomat who opened fire to quell a protest outside his country's embassy in Washington has left the United States to avoid prosecution, a US official has said.

Secret Service agents arrested the man on Monday after shots were fired in the air in the embassy's outside compound in the US capital.

Video shown by Ethiopian television ESAT showed a man brandishing and firing a handgun as a small crowd of protesters took down the Ethiopian national flag.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said yesterday her bureau had requested that Addis Ababa lift the man's diplomatic immunity "to permit prosecution of the individual involved in that incident."

The "request was declined" and in line with State Department regulations "the individual involved has now left the country."

Psaki gave no further details about the shooting or the person involved.

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