Thursday, December 2, 2021

Tigray spokesman said Ethiopia airstrike killed 10 people, including children

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) – Children were among 10 people killed in an Ethiopian military airstrike on the country’s capital, the Tigray region, on Thursday, a doctor and a Tigray spokesman said. It was the deadliest of a new round of airstrikes that began last week as the ongoing year of war escalated.

International calls for a ceasefire have proved futile as Ethiopian and Allied forces battle Tigray forces, which have long dominated the national government before being ousted by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Thousands of people were killed in Africa’s second most populous country, and the worst hunger crisis in the world in a decade began.

Government spokesman Legesse Tulu told The Associated Press that the new airstrike hit a site in the city of Mekele used by Tigray forces to manufacture and repair weapons. He said the site is part of a complex owned by Mefsin Industrial Engineering, which was also damaged last week.

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Tigray spokesman Nahusenai Belay denied the information that the airstrike hit a military target and said that the strike was on a “residential building.” According to him, there were three children among the dead. Hayelom Kebede, the former director of the leading Ayder hospital in Tigre, said 10 people were killed and 21 injured, and he expected the death toll to rise.

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There were photos from the scene showing rescuers pulling bodies out of the rubble.

The Ethiopian government said the latest airstrikes were only against military targets, but Tigre’s forces said they instead targeted civilian targets, including factories and a clinic, and at least three children were killed.

Meanwhile, fighting continues in Ethiopia’s neighboring Amhara region after the Abiya government launched a ground offensive there earlier this month against Tigray forces, who say they are trying to pressure the government to lift the blockade from the Tigray region.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced in recent weeks by renewed fighting as the humanitarian crisis escalates.

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