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World Ethiopia launches air strikes in northern and western Tigray

15:45  24 october  2021
15:45  24 october  2021 Source:   afp.com

New Ethiopia air strike on Tigray capital

  New Ethiopia air strike on Tigray capital Ethiopia's military launched a new air strike on the Tigrayan capital Mekele on Wednesday, the second bombardment this week against Tigray People's Liberation Front targets in the city. On Monday, Ethiopia's air force carried out two strikes in Mekele, the city held by the TPLF since it was recaptured from government forces in June. The United Nations said on Tuesday that those raids had killed three children and wounded nine people."The intensification of the conflict is alarming," said Jens Laerke, spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Ethiopia's military on Sunday launched two air strikes on what a government official said were rebel-held facilities in Tigray, the seventh and eighth bombardments in its war-torn northern region in a week.

The latest strikes in Tigray were far from Mekele, suggesting the military was widening its campaign of bombardments © EDUARDO SOTERAS The latest strikes in Tigray were far from Mekele, suggesting the military was widening its campaign of bombardments

The strikes, far from the regional capital Mekele, signalled the military was potentially widening its campaign of aerial bombardments which has drawn international rebukes and disrupted UN flights to the famine-threatened region.

"Today the western front of (Mai Tsebri) which was serving as a training and military command post for the terrorist group TPLF has been the target of an air strike," government spokeswoman Selamawit Kassa said, referring to the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF).

Ethiopia hits Tigray in fourth day of air raids

  Ethiopia hits Tigray in fourth day of air raids Gov’t says attack targeted training site used by Tigrayan forces, but TPLF says attack hit Mekelle University.Government spokesperson Legesse Tulu said Friday’s air raid targeted a base formerly belonging to the Ethiopian military and now being used by rebel Tigrayan forces as a training site in the regional capital Mekelle.

Later, Selamawit said the same mission destroyed a separate facility in the northern town of Adwa used to manufacture "military equipments" as well as fake military uniforms used by TPLF combatants.

There was no immediate response from the TPLF, which has condemned earlier strikes as evidence of the government's disregard for civilian lives.

There was also no immediate information on casualties in either Mai Tsebri or Adwa.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's government has been locked in a war against the TPLF since last November, though Tigray itself had seen little combat since late June, when the rebels seized control of much of Ethiopia's northernmost region and the military largely withdrew.

But on Monday Ethiopia's air force launched two strikes on Tigray's capital Mekele that the UN said killed three children and wounded several other people.

Ethiopia conducts air attacks in Tigray region: Gov’t

  Ethiopia conducts air attacks in Tigray region: Gov’t Government says a TPLF training and military command post targeted in western Tigray, followed by second raid in north.The raids on Sunday would be the seventh and eighth aerial bombardments in the war-hit region in a week.


Video: Ethiopia launches new air strike on Tigray capital (France 24)

Since then there have been three more strikes on Mekele and another targeting what the government described as a weapons cache in the town of Agbe, about 80 kilometres (50 miles) to the west.

The strikes coincide with ramped-up fighting in Amhara region, south of Tigray.

They have drawn rebukes from Western powers, with the US last week condemning "the continuing escalation of violence, putting civilians in harm's way".

- UN suspends flights -

A strike Friday on Mekele forced a UN flight carrying 11 humanitarian personnel to turn back to the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, and the UN subsequently announced it was suspending its twice-weekly flights to the region.

TPLF spokesman Getachew Reda on Friday criticised the air force for putting the UN flight at risk.

"Our air defense units knew the UN plane was scheduled to land & it was due in large measure to their restraint it was not caught in a crossfire," Getachew said on Twitter.

The TPLF issued a statement Saturday saying the incident revealed the government's "intention to continue obstructing humanitarian operations".

The conflict has spurred fears of widespread starvation, as the UN estimates it has pushed 400,000 people in Tigray into famine-like conditions.

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Biden revokes Ethiopia trade preferences as Tigray war intensifies .
President Joe Biden on Tuesday booted Ethiopia from a vital trade pact due to rights concerns as the historic US ally declared a state of emergency over rebel advances north of the capital. Authorities ordered residents of the capital to register their firearms as state-affiliated media announced a nationwide state of emergency. Feltman, the US envoy, said Washington had directly warned TPLF leaders not to advance on the capital and instead to pursue talks.

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