The alleged mastermind of the weekend’s attacks in Ethiopia’s northern Amhara region was present while they were taking place, three state officials said on local TV on Monday.

Brig Asaminew Tsige is accused of planning the attack that killed Amhara governor Ambachew Mekonnen among others.

The brigadier was himself killed as he attempted to escape from his hideout in Amhara’s capital, police said on Monday..

According to BBC, the three officials speaking on TV on Monday described their shock and surprise at the attacks but also assured the public that they had no political differences with the Brig Asaminew, who served as the regional security chief.

They said there had been no plans to remove him from his post prior to the incidents.

Brig Asaminew was a popular figure, and seen by the youth as a true man of the people.

But he also had his fierce critics.

For some he was too much of a hardliner to be compatible with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s reform agenda in contrast to the slain governor, who was one of Mr Abiy’s key allies.