NAIROBI (Somaliguardian) – Tigray Defense Forces have taken over the town of Adigrat close to Ethiopia’s border with Eritrea following fierce clashes on Tuesday, a significant blow to Abiy Ahmed’s administration since war erupted in Tigray more than 8 months ago.
Ethiopia’s prime minister ordered a “law enforcement” operation in November of last year to topple the party that had been controlling the land-locked nation for decades before he rose to power in 2018 and promised that troops would restore calm in the war-wrecked northern Ethiopian region within weeks.
His administration rejected growing calls for ceasefire and insisted that the operation would continue as long as the Tigrayan rebels are in control of parts of the region and are able to wage an insurgency campaign against allied forces.
Tigray Defense Forces have captured the town of Adigrat early on Tuesday morning, following a short-lived resistance from Eritrean garrison manning the strategic town.
Eritrean troops hastily withdrew from the town in the early hours of Tuesday after Tigray rebels launched attacks on key bases in the town, residents said.
Rebel forces captured weapons and other military supplies left behind by the Eritrean foces and their control of Adigrat lasted for several hours, before Eritrean troops returned to their bases shortly before sunset.
There was an intense shelling on the town launched by Eritrean forces after Tigray Defense Forces (TDF) retook key military bases, months after they had been forced to leave Adigrat and other major cities in northern Ethiopia.
Casualties on both sides have not been immediately clear. Ethiopia and Eritrea have also made no comments on the clashes, which come amid last-ditch efforts aimed at cleansing the northern Ethiopian region of Tigrayan rebels.
In a separate event, spokesman for the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) Getachew Reda released a video showing dozens of Ethiopian soldiers captured during recent clashes and called for international support to help feed the prisoners.
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