Ethiopia | At least 50 killed, more than 100 injured in airstrikes
Defence Redefined
Published on 24/06/2021 at 08:34

At least 50 people have been killed and more than 100 injured in an airstrike that hit a busy market in Togoga, Ethiopia’s war-torn province, according to medical officials. Residents say fighting has escalated in the last few days north of the provincial capital, Mekelle. The federal army has been conducting military operations in the area since November and at least 350,000 people are at risk of starvation, according to the UN.

According to the latest Associated Press report, citing medical officials, more than 50 people were killed in the airstrike, at least 100 were injured and more than 33 are missing. There are children among the victims.

According to eyewitnesses, the airstrikes, which were launched today at around 13:00 local time, took place at a time when the market was full of people. Ethiopian army spokesman Colonel Getnet Adane did not confirm or deny the bombing, saying airstrikes were a common military tactic and that government forces were not targeting civilians. Earlier, Reuters quoted a medical official as saying at least 43 people had been killed in the attack. A family of one seriously injured in the attack spoke to Agence France-Presse about two airstrikes in and around the market.

Also read: Sudan and Ethiopia to hold talks on border crisis

Talking to Reuters, the medical official and another two working in the health sector, offering help to the city of Togoga following the airstrike, stated that Ethiopian soldiers blocked the central road which connects Mekelle to the city, preventing ambulances from reaching the spot. “Patients are dying right now,” the official said. The military spokesman denied that the army was blocking access to ambulances. The raid came as Ethiopian officials counted votes from this week’s national and regional parliamentary elections in seven of the country’s 10 provinces. No elections were held in Tigray. Security concerns and ballot problems also delayed the election process in two other areas.

Ethiopian Federal Prime Minister Abi Ahmed announced on November 4 that he had ordered the federal army to intervene in Tigray to capture and disarm the leadership of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) forces. The TPLF, at the helm of the province until then, was practically in conflict with the central government after losing power at the federal level, three years earlier. Residents said TPLF forces had entered several towns north of Mekelle in the past three days, leaving one of them within hours.

Also read: Ethiopia | Hundreds dead after clashes between Federal forces and the People’s Liberation Front – VIDEO

Source: CNA / Cover Photo





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