Human communication

Airstrike hits capital of Ethiopia’s Tigray region: health official

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  • Outbreak in northern region disrupts aid delivery
  • The conflict has been raging in Tigray since the end of 2020
  • Airstrike follows recent impact on children’s playground

NAIROBI, Aug 31 (Reuters) – An airstrike hit near a hospital in the capital of northern Ethiopia’s Tigray region, the head of another hospital that killed people said. less than a week after the fighting shattered a four-month ceasefire.

At war since the end of 2020, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which controls the region, and the central government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed blame each other for the resurgence of the conflict which is disrupting the food aid they desperately need.

Kibrom Gebreselassie, general manager of Ayder General Hospital, tweeted that an area near Mekelle General Hospital was hit on Tuesday evening.

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The extent of damage and casualties was unclear.

Ethiopian government spokesman Legesse Tulu, military spokesman Col. Getnet Adane and Prime Minister’s spokesman Billene Seyoum did not respond to requests for comment.

Getachew Reda, the TPLF spokesman, said on Twitter that at least three bombs had been dropped and Mekelle hospital was among the targets.

Another Ayder doctor confirmed to Reuters that he heard three explosions late at night.

Reuters could not reach residents of Mekelle for confirmation because the area has not had telephone communication since the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops more than a year ago.

The latest strike follows a hit at a children’s playground on Friday that killed seven people, including women and children. Read more

STOP HUMANITARIAN CONVOYS

Almost all of Tigray’s 5.5 million people need food aid, but humanitarian deliveries via the last remaining route – through the neighboring Afar region – have been halted for security reasons, said said a United Nations official.

On Tuesday, the TPLF said an offensive had been broken and a counter-offensive had been launched. He pointed to the devastation of the region, which has had no banking, telephone or electricity services for more than a year.

Fuel restrictions have also limited the distribution of aid, while patients are dying for lack of medicine and equipment.

Restoration of services is a key demand of the TPLF ahead of the peace talks. The government wants the talks to start without conditions.

On Saturday, the Ethiopian government’s communications service said it had withdrawn its forces from the town of Kobo in the Amhara region bordering Tigray, accusing the TPLF of sending “human waves” against the town and putting civilians at risk.

The government said Tigrayan forces were attacking from two directions – along the border with Amhara in the south and along the border with Afar in the east.

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Reporting from the Nairobi Newsroom; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne

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