The chief of staff of the army in Ethiopia, Gen Seare Mekonnen, has been shot dead by his own bodyguard in the capital, Addis Ababa.
He and another officer died trying to prevent a coup attempt against the administration in Ethiopia’s northern Amhara region, PM Abiy Ahmed said.
In Amhara itself, regional governor Ambachew Mekonnen was killed along with an adviser.
The government says the situation is under control after arrests were made.
The prime minister has gone on TV to urge Ethiopians to unite in the face of “evil” forces set on dividing the country.
Gen Seare was killed on Saturday evening at his residence along with another general, Gezai Abera, by the bodyguard who is now in custody, the prime minister’s press office says.
The government says it has reason to think the attack was linked to the assassination of the governor of Amhara a few hours earlier in the region’s capital, Bahir Dar.
Mr Ambachew was killed at a meeting in his office along with his senior adviser, Ezez Wasie, while the region’s attorney general was wounded.
The prime minister’s office accused Amhara’s regional security chief, Brig-Gen Asaminew Tsige, of plotting the coup attempt. It is unclear whether he has been arrested.