NAIROBI (Somaliguardian) – At least three civilians were killed and dozens wounded when air strikes carried out by Ethiopia’s military struck the capital of the northern war-wrecked region of Tigray, residents and rebel officials said on Monday.
Ethiopia’s troops bolstered by forces from Amhara region have been fighting the Tigrayan rebels for nearly a year. The government has recently launched a new offensive aimed at retaking key areas in Amhara and Afar regions where the Tigrayans had seized over the past months.
The bombardment took place in two parts of the regional capital on Monday morning at around 09:30 local time, Kindeya Geberehiwot, a member of Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) told the BBC.
The first strike on Mekelle’s outskirts resulted in the death of three civilians and dozens were wounded, and the second air strike hit a busy market injuring dozens of people, he added.
Photos circulated on social media showed damage allegedly caused by the air strike in Mekelle and it is difficult to independently confirm the claims.
Ethiopia’s government denied it was behind the reported air raids on Tigray’s regional capital.
“Why would the Ethiopian government attack its own city? Mekelle is an Ethiopian city,” Legesse Tulu, who heads the government communications service told Reuters news agency.
The bombardment has come after Tigray forces captured two key towns in Afar and Amhara regions, managing to beat back the army’s long-threatened offensive launched last week.
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