New Ethiopia air strike on Tigray capital

Wednesday October 20 2021

A tank damaged during the fighting between Ethiopia's National Defense Force (ENDF) and Tigray Special Forces stands on the outskirts of Humera town in Ethiopia on July 1, 2021. PHOTO | REUTERS


Ethiopia's military launched a new air strike on the Tigrayan capital Mekele on Wednesday, the second bombardment this week hitting Tigray People's Liberation Front targets in the city.

The raids mark a sharp escalation in the nearly year-long conflict in northern Ethiopia pitting government forces and their allies against the TPLF, Tigray's once-dominant ruling party.

A government spokesman confirmed the latest raid, which had been reported by humanitarian and diplomatic sources and a local resident.

"It targeted at the facilities that TPLF have turned into arms construction and repair armaments sites," Legesse Tulu, head of the Government Communication Service, told AFP by text message.

It was not immediately known if there were any casualties from the strike, which the resident said destroyed an industrial site.

"It was heavy and the jet was so close," the resident said. "It has burned the whole compound. We don't know the casualties but now the whole company is burned to ash."


On Monday, Ethiopia's air force carried out two strikes in Mekele, the city held by the TPLF since it was recaptured from government forces in June.

The United Nations said on Tuesday that those raids had killed three children and wounded nine people.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's government appears to be pressing a new offensive against the TPLF, which dominated national politics for almost three decades before he took power in 2018.