By ELIAS MESERET Associated Press

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — Ethiopia’s army says it is deploying troops to calm deadly unrest that has raged in the past three days mainly in the Oromia region.

The unrest was sparked when prominent activist Jawar Mohammed said the government was removing his security detail. He has since called for calm.

A group of supporters perform and shout slogans at the house of opposition leader Jawar Mohammed to show their support, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Thursday Oct. 24, 2019. Ethiopia’s Nobel Peace Prize-winning prime minister Abiy Ahmed faced the most serious political challenge of his short rule Thursday as officials said dozens of people might be dead in two days of unrest, and Jawar Mohammed hinted that he might enter next year’s election race to challenge Abiy to become Prime Minister. (AP photo Mulugeta Ayene)

Army spokesman Maj. Gen. Mohammed Tessema says soldiers are being deployed across Oromia and in Harar and Dire Dawa.

A local official in the Oromia regional capital, Adama, has said the death toll could be in the dozens. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

Several Oromia residents told the AP that non-Oromos had been attacked.

Deadly ethnic tensions pose a major challenge to reformist Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed as next year’s election approaches.