Allegedly dead and injured: Ethiopian army bombs civilians

Allegedly dead and injured
Ethiopian army bombs civilians

Unconfirmed reports suggest that the Ethiopian army killed at least three people and injured dozens in air strikes in the Tigray People’s Liberation Front area. The People’s Liberation Front speaks of “intention”, the UN is “alarmed”.

The Ethiopian army carried out air strikes in Tigray’s capital, Mekelle, on Monday. According to the Central Committee of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), at least three people died and dozens were injured in the bombings. The Ethiopian Air Force announced on Monday evening, according to the state news agency Ethiopian Press Agency, that it had attacked “communication masts and equipment”. It said “the utmost care was taken to avoid civilian casualties,” it said.

“(Prime Minister) Abiy Ahmed’s air force sent their bomber to attack civilian targets in and outside of Mekelle. Monday is market day in Mekelle and the intention is all too tangible,” TPLF spokesman Getachew Reda said on Twitter. Another destination was the “Planet Hotel”, where numerous humanitarian organizations had housed their employees until recently, according to Reda.

The conflict started eleven months ago

The United Nations spoke of “alarming reports”. “We are deeply concerned about the potential impact on civilians who live or work in the affected areas,” said spokesman Stephane Dujarric in New York. Abiy’s government did not comment on the air strikes, but on Monday also accused the TPLF of killing at least 30 civilians using heavy artillery.

Last week the army launched a new military offensive against TPLF rebels, which resulted in heavy fighting with artillery, drones and fighter planes. The military conflict began eleven months ago when Abiy began ousting the TPLF, which was in power in Tigray. The TPLF dominated Ethiopia for a good 25 years until Abiy came to power in 2018. Many people in Tigray feel that they are not represented by the central government and are demanding more autonomy.

Since the beginning of August, the conflict has spread to the neighboring regions of Afar and Amhara. The clashes have led to a serious humanitarian crisis in the north of the country.

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