ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia - Ethiopia said Sunday that a total of seven high-ranking and middle level officers of the militant Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) were neutralized in a joint military and police operation in its northernmost Tigray region.
Seven civilian operatives who held senior positions prior to the launch of a law enforcement operation in the region on Nov. 4 were also captured.
They include Abay Woldu, former president of the Tigray National Regional Government, the state-owned Ethiopian News Agency quoted Brigadier General Tesfaye Ayalew, the head of the federal army's deployment department, as saying.
Those captured also included two high-ranking officers of the army who had defected to the TPLF.
On Nov. 3, TPLF forces attacked the Ethiopian National Defense Forces, killing soldiers while they were sleeping and looting military hardware, prompting the Ethiopian government to launch a sweeping law enforcement operation.
On Nov. 28, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed declared the military confrontation over after the fall of the regional capital Mekele to the federal army. But tracking down TPLF operatives who went into hiding has been ongoing.
Yesterday, the operation captured Sibhat Nega, a founding member of the TPLF and a hugely influential figure who created a multibillion-dollar business empire for himself and his family during the 27 years prior to 2018 when the TPLF was in power.