ADDIS ABABA, October 20 (Reuters) – An airstrike hit the capital of northern Ethiopia’s Tigray region on Wednesday morning, area-controlled television reported, reporting the second attack on the city from Mekelle this week.
Tigrai Television, controlled by the region’s Popular Front for the Liberation of Tigray (TPLF), reported the attack was aimed at the city center.
He released photographs of what appeared to be plumes of smoke, but it was not immediately possible for Reuters to geotag the photographs. The TV station said in a statement on Facebook that the strike took place at 10:24 am (07:24 GMT).
Ethiopian government spokesman Legesse Tulu did not immediately respond to a phone call seeking comment on the reported strike. It was not immediately possible to reach the spokesperson for the TPLF.
The two sides have been waging a war for nearly a year that has claimed thousands of lives and displaced more than 2 million people.
A humanitarian source in Mekelle told Reuters the strike took place in an area of town called 05 Kebelle, an area near a cement factory on the outskirts of town.
The strike struck around 10:30 a.m., the source said.
The report of a strike comes two days after two airstrikes hit the city. Tigrayan rebel forces accused the Ethiopian government of launching the strikes. Although a government official initially denied any strike, state media later reported that the Air Force carried out an attack. Read more
The news follows escalating fighting in two other parts of Ethiopia, where the central government army is trying to reclaim territory taken by the TPLF, which recaptured Mekelle and most of the rest of Tigray several months ago. .
“The federal airstrikes on Mekelle appear to be part of efforts to weaken the armed resistance of Tigray, which has recently made further progress in the eastern Amhara region, with fighting ongoing in some areas,” he said. said Will Davison, senior analyst on Ethiopia in Brussels. -International Crisis Group, a think tank.
“With a superior workforce, control of the skies is one of the few remaining areas of military advantage for the federal government,” Davison said.
Report from the Addis Ababa newsroom; Additional reporting by Nairobi Newsroom; Written by Maggie Fick; Edited by Andrew Cawthorne and Timothy Heritage
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.