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Ethiopia airstrike on Tigray kills 10: hospital, rebel sources

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Oct 28, 2021

Ethiopia’s military on Thursday carried out an airstrike on the capital of the war-torn Tigray region that a hospital official said killed 10 people.

The government said the strike, the latest in a campaign of air bombardments, hit a factory in Mekele used by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

ETHIOPIA TERRORIST MILITARY 

The air force “destroyed the second part of Mesfin Industrial Engineering. The facility was used by TPLF terrorist group for maintaining its military equipments,” said government spokeswoman Selamawit Kassa.

Dr Hayelom Kebede, research director at Mekele’s Ayder Referral Hospital, said a residential area was hit and casualties were inflicted.

ETHIOPIA AIRSTRIKE CASUALTIES 

“The death toll reaches 10,” he said, up from his earlier count that put the number of dead at six and listed 21 people as injured.

The Tigrai Communications Affairs Bureau, a TPLF-linked information channel, also reported casualties and said the strike had hit a residential area.

READ: Ethiopia launches airstrike on rebel ‘training centre’: government

ETHIOPIA BATTLEFIELD 

Earlier, TPLF spokesman Getachew Reda confirmed the strike on Mekele and said the rebels’ air defence units were engaging an enemy jet.

Much of northern Ethiopia is under a communications blackout and access for journalists is restricted, making battlefield claims difficult to verify independently.

TIGRAY WAR 

Tigray was pounded by near-daily aerial bombardments last week as the military stepped up its use of airpower in the year-long war against the TPLF.

The government said the facilities bombed in northern and western Tigray were military in nature and aiding the TPLF, the former ruling party in the region.

MILITARY ADVANTAGE 

The UN said 2 strikes on Mekele on 18 October killed 3 children and wounded several other people. Another person died in a later strike.

Control of the skies, along with superior manpower, is one of the few remaining areas where the federal government holds a military advantage over the rebels.

DE-FACTO AID BLOCKADE 

The bombings have drawn international censure, and disrupted UN access to the region where an estimated 400 000 people face famine-like conditions under a de-facto aid blockade. 

Tigray erupted in conflict in November 2020 after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent troops to topple the TPLF. 

The 2019 Nobel Peace laureate said the move came in response to TPLF attacks on army camps and promised a swift victory, but by late June the rebels had regrouped and retaken most of the region, including Mekele. 

© Agence France-Presse

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