Ethiopia: Airstrikes hit Tigray capital

TIGRAY

There have been air strikes on the city of Mekelle, the capital of Ethiopia’s war-torn Tigray region, residents and rebel officials have told the BBC.

Federal forces have been fighting the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in the north of the country for nearly a year.

Kindeya Geberehiwot, a member of the TPLF’s central committee, told BBC Tigrinya that Monday morning’s bombardment happened in two parts of the city.

In the first strike, on Mekelle’s outskirts, at around 09:30 local time (06:30 GMT) three civilians were killed and dozens were wounded, Mr Kindeya said.

The second airstrike hit a busy public market and dozens were injured, he added.

Residents have also told the BBC about the airstrikes and social media users have posted pictures allegedly showing the damage caused.

The mobile phone network is not working in Tigray and it is difficult to independently confirm the claims.

In a comment to the Reuters news agency, the Ethiopian government denied it was behind the reported bombardment.

“Why would the Ethiopian government attack its own city? Mekelle is an Ethiopian city,” Legesse Tulu, who heads the government communications service, is quoted as saying.