'Air strike' rocks Mekelle city in Ethiopia's Tigray region Featured

The capital of Ethiopia's Tigray region has been hit by an air strike, according to local hospital officials and the Tigray rebels.

Kibrom Gebreselassie, chief clinical director at Mekelle's Ayder Referral Hospital, said on Twitter there had been a drone attack "close to midnight" on Tuesday near Mekelle general hospital.

"Casualties are arriving at Ayder Hospital," he said.

Another senior Ayder hospital official, Hayelom Kebede, said in a brief message to the AFP news agency that two wounded people had been taken to the facility so far.

Ethiopian government officials were not immediately reachable for comment.

"Night time drone attack in Mekelle. No conceivable military targets!" Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) spokesperson Getachew Reda said on Twitter.

"Mekelle Hospital among the targets and at least three bombs dropped," he added.

Latest fighting

The strike was reported just days after at least four people including children were killed in another air strike on Mekelle, with Tigrayan rebels accusing the government of hitting a residential area and a kindergarten.

Fighting erupted between government forces and the TPLF in northern Ethiopia last Wednesday, ending a five-month truce and dimming hopes for a peaceful resolution to the near 22-month war.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's government and the TPLF have each blamed the other for the fighting that erupted in areas bordering the southeastern tip of Tigray.

The fighting, which erupted in November 2020, has killed untold numbers of civilians and left millions in need of humanitarian aid across the north.

Since the latest combat flared, the international community has issued appeals for restraint, including from UN chief Antonio Guterres and the African Union.

PM Abiy, a Nobel Peace laureate, sent troops into Tigray to topple the TPLF in response to what he said were rebel attacks on federal army camps.

The TPLF mounted a comeback, recapturing most of Tigray in June 2021 and expanding into Afar and Amhara, before the fighting reached a stalemate.

Source: AFP