The funeral has been held for Ethiopian singer Hachalu Hundessa as unrest over his death has spread from the Oromia region where he was seen as a hero.

Armed gangs are reported to be roaming the capital, Addis Ababa, targeting rival ethnic groups.

At least 81 people have been killed in protests in Oromia since Hachalu was shot dead on Monday night.

The motive for his killing remains unclear, but the 34-year-old had said he had received death threats.

His songs focused on the rights of the country’s Oromo ethnic group and became anthems in a wave of protests that led to the downfall of the previous prime minister in 2018.

In Addis Ababa, eight people were killed in violence that included multiple bomb blasts, says BBC Ethiopia reporter Kalkidan Yibeltal.

Our reporter says ethnic and religious tensions have intensified in the aftermath of the killing.

Meanwhile, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has urged Ethiopians to remain united and safeguard the prevailing peace by supporting to security personnel.

He was speaking before Hundessa’s funeral.

The prime minister also said that the government will do everything possible to overcome the challenges people are currently facing. He said the “wish of the enemies of the ongoing reforms is to create a weak country. However their efforts will not succeed.”

“This week, a very heinous crime was committed on artist Hachalu Hundessa.

“Those who planned the crime are those who are not happy with the current change in the country and said let’s not perish alone but die killing others.

“Their objective is not to kill our brother [Hachalu], but to kill Ethiopia by killing Hachalu.

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