52 confirmed dead in stampede at Ethiopia religious event

In this image from video, tear gas envelops protesters in background as people march during an annual festival in Bishoftu, Ethiopia, Sunday, Oct.2, 2016, where witnesses report that several dozen people died in a stampede during the religious celebration. According to eyewitness reports, several people at the annual festival in Bishoftu Sunday were crushed to death after police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse protesters chanting anti-government slogans as they pushed toward a stage where leaders were speaking. (AP Photo/Elias Meseret)
In this image from video, tear gas envelops protesters in background as people march during an annual festival in Bishoftu, Ethiopia, Sunday, Oct.2, 2016, where witnesses report that several dozen people died in a stampede during the religious celebration. According to eyewitness reports, several people at the annual festival in Bishoftu Sunday were crushed to death after police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse protesters chanting anti-government slogans as they pushed toward a stage where leaders were speaking. (AP Photo/Elias Meseret)

BISHOFTU, Ethiopia (AP) — A regional government in Ethiopia has confirmed that 52 people have been killed in a stampede after police tried to disperse an anti-government protest at a massive religious festival.

The Oromia regional government confirmed the death toll late Sunday.

The government is also declaring three days of national mourning.

The stampede occurred in one of the East African country’s most politically sensitive regions, Oromia. It has seen months of sometimes deadly demonstrations demanding wider freedoms.