World, Africa

Ethiopia carries on with air attacks against Tigray rebels

Gov't claims air strikes since last week were away from civilian settlements, TPLF rebels allege market also hit, killing 3

Ethiopia carries on with air attacks against Tigray rebels Units of Ethiopian army patrol the streets of Mekelle city of the Tigray region, in northern Ethiopia. ( FILE PHOTO - Anadolu Agency )

By Addis Getachew

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AA) - Ethiopia on Tuesday began its second week of aerial bombardment in Tigray, the northernmost region of the Horn of Africa nation that saw an insurgency against the federal government.

“A special forces training center of the terrorist group Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) has been the target of Tuesday’s airstrike,” the government's communication service told Anadolu Agency.

It said: “The center is located at Quiha, just outside of Mekele (capital of the regional state). A large number of the group’s illegally recruited personnel were taking military training at this center.”

Ethiopia claimed the aerial bombardments that began just a week ago were surgical and away from civilian settlements, but a spokesperson for the TPLF, Getachew Reda, claimed a busy market was also hit, killing three civilians and injuring many others.

Last year, the Ethiopian government said that TPLF forces raided the northern command of Ethiopian National Defense Forces, killing soldiers and looting sizable military hardware on Nov. 3. The following day, the Ethiopian government launched a sweeping law enforcement operation against the group’s leaders.

On June 29, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration declared a unilateral cease-fire and withdrew troops from Tigray. The TPLF has been expanding ever since into neighboring regions of Amhara and Afar.

According to the UN, 2 million people were internally displaced and thousands died in the war.

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