Air strike on playground kills 7 in Ethiopia's Tigray region

TEHRAN, Aug. 27 (MNA) – An air raid killed at least seven people, including three children, in the capital of Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region.

An air strike on a children's play area killed at least seven people in the capital of Ethiopia's northern Tigray region on Friday, medical officials there said, the first such attack after a four-month-old ceasefire collapsed this week.

The officials said three children were among the dead but a federal government spokesman denied any civilian casualties, Reuters reported.

The air strike on Mekelle took place two days after fighting broke out again between the national government and Tigrayan forces on the border of the Tigray and Amhara regions, shattering the ceasefire.

Tigrai Television, controlled by the regional authorities, blamed the federal government for the strike. No other military aircraft operate in Ethiopian airspace.

The Ethiopian government subsequently urged residents of Tigray to stay away from military facilities, saying it intended to "take actions to target the military forces."

Kibrom Gebreselassie, chief executive of Ayder Hospital, said on Twitter the hospital had received four dead, including two children, and nine wounded.

Federal government spokesperson Legesse Tulu said news of civilian casualties was "lies and fabricated drama" and accused Tigrayan authorities of "dumping body bags."

He denied government strikes hit civilian facilities and said they only targeted military sites.

War erupted in Tigray in November 2020 and spread to the neighbouring regions of Afar and Amhara a year ago. Last November, Tigrayan forces marched towards Addis Ababa but were driven back by a government offensive.

A ceasefire was announced in March after both sides fought to a stalemate and the government declared a humanitarian truce, allowing badly needed food aid into the region.

When fighting erupted this week, both blamed each other.


News Code 190688


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