Regional Capital of Ethiopia's Tigray Reportedly Hit by Airstrikes
10:31 GMT 18.10.2021 (Updated: 13:22 GMT 18.10.2021)
The situation in the Tigray region of Ethiopia has been deteriorating over the past few months, as hostilities reemerged between the central government and the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF).
Mekele, the capital city of the Tigray region in Ethiopia, was hit by airstrikes on Monday, reports suggest. The broadcaster Tigrai Television, controlled by the TPLF, stated that several people were wounded by the strikes.
Reuters also reported, citing local witnesses, that the city was attacked. Several photos, allegedly showing the aftermath of the airstrikes, emerged online.
In the meantime, government spokesman Legesse Tulu, denied launching any assault.
"Why would the Ethiopian government attack its own city? Mekele is an Ethiopian city", he said.
A civil war erupted in the East African country last year after the Ethiopian government accused the local governing party, the Tigray People's Liberation Front, of attacking a regional military base. In response, the party said that Eritrea (which was technically at war with Ethiopia until 2018) had dispatched troops across the border to support the federal government.
The military clashes that followed claimed thousands of lives and forced around a million people in the region to flee their homes.
© REUTERS / STRINGERA tank damaged during the fighting between Ethiopia?s National Defense Force (ENDF) and Tigray Special Force stands on the outskirts of Humera town in Ethiopia July 1, 2021 Picture taken July 1, 2021
A tank damaged during the fighting between Ethiopia?s National Defense Force (ENDF) and Tigray Special Force stands on the outskirts of Humera town in Ethiopia July 1, 2021 Picture taken July 1, 2021
Initially, government forces managed to seize Mekele, but in June, TPLF militants reclaimed the city. After that, an unconditional ceasefire was imposed in the region, but in October the government forces launched a new ground offensive.