Tigray forces say air strikes hit Ethiopia's Mekelle, government denies2021-10-18 18:08:06 Written by www.todayonline.com Published in English Articles Read 166 times
Published OCTOBER 18, 2021
Updated OCTOBER 18, 2021
FILE PHOTO: A tank damaged during the fighting between Ethiopia’s National Defense Force (ENDF) and Tigray Special Forces stands on the outskirts of Humera town. Photo: Reuters
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ADDIS ABABA -Rebellious Tigrayan forces accused the Ethiopian government of launching air strikes on the capital of Tigray region on Monday, and though a government official initially denied strikes, state-run media later reported the air force conducted an attack.
The reported raid follows intensified fighting https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/ethiopian-offensive-two-northern-regions-intensifies-tigrayan-forces-say-2021-10-13 in two other Ethiopian regions, where the central government's military is trying to recover territory taken by the northern province's Tigrayan People's Liberation Front (TPLF).
Tigrai TV, controlled by the TPLF, said the attack on the city of Mekelle killed three civilians.
Ethiopia's government spokesman, Legesse Tulu, denied launching any attack. "Why would the Ethiopian government attack its own city? Mekelle is an Ethiopian city," he said.
"Terrorists are the ones who attack cities with innocent civilians in them, not government," Legesse added. He accused the TPLF of killing civilians in fighting in neighbouring regions.
But the state-run Ethiopian Press Agency said late in the day that Ethiopia's air force conducted an air strike and that it was aimed at communications infastructure in the city.
The infrastructure had belonged to the government but had fallen under the control of the Tigrayan forces, the report read. The strike destroyed a communications tower and other equipment, the report read.
Reuters was not able to verify any of the accounts in an area that is off-limits to journalists.
A resident of the city told Reuters one strike hit close to a market, behind a hotel. An aid worker and a doctor in the region also said there had been an attack and a diplomat shared pictures of what they said was the aftermath, including pools of blood and smashed windows.
All asked not to be named. Reuters could not confirm the authenticity of the images.
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