MEKELLE, Ethiopia – Three aid workers employed by Doctors Without Borders were found dead on Friday in the conflict-hit Tigre region of northern Ethiopia, in what the aid group called a “brutal killing.”
in a statementDoctors Without Borders said the bodies of the workers – a Spanish woman and two Ethiopian men – were found near their vehicle on Friday morning, less than a day after they went missing.
“We strongly condemn this attack on our allies and will work tirelessly to understand what happened,” the statement said.
Killed aid workers Identified as 35-year-old Maria Hernandez; Yohannes Halefom Reda, 31; Doctors Without Borders said Tedros Gebremariam Gebremichael, 31 – was traveling on Thursday afternoon when his colleagues lost contact with him.
The agency called their deaths a “brutal murder” but did not provide further details about the circumstances or who perpetrated the attack.
The Tigre War began in November when Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched a military offensive against the Tigre People’s Liberation Front, the regional ruling party, which challenged his authority. Within days, Eritrean and ethnic Amhara militia troops had entered the Tigre to join the offensive on behalf of the government.
The war has become notorious for atrocities against civilians, and for a growing famine that has already affected 350,000 people.
Ethiopian air forces on Monday bombed a crowded market in Tigre’s capital Mekele, killing dozens of civilians and injuring at least 68 others, according to Ethiopian health officials.
In March, Ethiopian soldiers dragged four people from public bus The group said in an earlier statement that they were killed on a street north of Mekele and in front of a team of Doctors Without Borders. The incident happened after an ambush on an Ethiopian military convoy.
The aid group said the three aid workers who died this week were “providing aid to people in Tigre and it is unimaginable that they paid their lives for this work.”