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Security forces stand guard in Meskel Square in central Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, June 23, 2019.

Ethiopian officials say the chief of staff of the army was shot and killed by his bodyguard late Saturday, hours after what officials described as an attempted coup in Ethiopia’s Amhara state.

A spokeswoman for Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said army chief Seare Mekonnen and a retired general were killed in a "co-ordinated attack" in Seare's home.

Billene Seyoum said earlier Saturday what she called a "hit squad" broke into a meeting in Amhara state's capital, killing regional president Ambachew Mekonnen and one of his senior advisors.

State media reported that General Asamnew Tsige, Amhara state's head of security, was the leader of the coup attempt.

The bodyguard is reported to have been arrested, but Asamnew is not in custody.

The U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa expressed shock and sadness over the late Saturday deadly attack.

"The attacks on these men were also an attack on the institutions and nation they served. The United States remains steadfast in its support for Ethiopia, as it pursues political and economic reforms that represent the surest path to Ethiopia’s prosperity, political inclusiveness, and stability," said a statement issued Sunday.

DR Congo's forward Cedric Bakambu (L) fights for the ball with Uganda's defender Hassan Wasswa during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) football match between DR Congo and Uganda at Cairo International Stadium on June 22, 2019. (Photo by JAVIER...

CAIRO (Reuters) - The Democratic Republic of Congo’s squad have apologised to their compatriots for unexpectedly losing their opening game of the Africa Cup of Nations to underrated Uganda on Saturday.

Both skipper Youssouf Mulumbu, who did not play in the 2-0 defeat, and Chancel Mbemba, who wore the captain’s armband in the game, said sorry in a recorded message that was distributed on Twitter (@Leopard Leader Foot).

“We come to you, simply to apologise. It’s true that it’s difficult, but we have to,” said Mulumbu, flanked by coach Florent Ibenge and with his team mate standing behind him.

“We need unity and it’s true that today we let you down. I hope it’s a good lesson for us. We still have two games to play, we need your support and we will correct the situation very quickly.

“Today, we made a big mistake, I know it’s humiliating for the 90-million Congolese. That’s why we come back to you with sincerity and with hand on heart to apologise.”

Mbemba also expressed the same sentiments in his brief statement.

The Congolese conceded both goals at set pieces — first from a corner and then a free kick as Patrick Kaddu and Emmanuel Okwi scored in Uganda’s first win at the finals for more than 40 years.

It has since emerged that the Congolese had to cancel their last training session on the eve of Saturday’s match because squad members were forced to undertake medical checks at a Cairo hospital as the country’s football federation had not supplied the required health certificates to tournament organisers.

They now face an uphill battle to advance past the first round. They will face hosts Egypt on Wednesday before taking on Zimbabwe next Sunday in their last Group A game. (Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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