Ethiopia: drone strike in Tigray killed 17 civilians, humanitarian sources say

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On Friday night at midnight, a drone strike had already hit a camp for displaced people in the town of Dedebit, causing “dozens of civilian victims, including dead”, according to the UN and pushing humanitarian organizations to suspend their efforts. operations in the area.

Dedebit and Mai Tsebri are located in the north-west of Tigray. The region has been the scene for 14 months of an armed conflict between the federal government and the former local authorities, resulting from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), a party that ruled Ethiopia for nearly 30 years, until when the current Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power.

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17 victims

“The strike in Mai Tsebri took place yesterday (Monday) in the afternoon and killed 17 people working in a flour mill,” said one of the humanitarian sources, citing witnesses.

According to this source, dozens of people were also injured.

“A witness told me that the drones came and hovered for a little while before dropping their bombs,” said the aid worker.

Nobel Peace Prize 2019, Mr. Abiy sent in November 2019 the federal army to Tigray to dismiss the regional authorities who had been challenging his authority for several months and whom he accused of having attacked military bases.

The rebels regain ground

Mr. Abiy quickly proclaimed victory after the capture of Mekele, the regional capital, by Ethiopian troops at the end of 2020. But the TPLF rebels recaptured almost all of Tigray in favor of a counter-offensive last June. , before advancing in the neighboring regions of Amhara and Afar and approaching Addis Ababa.

In December, the rebels announced their withdrawal to Tigray after an offensive by government forces.

The conflict in Tigray has claimed thousands of lives and the region, according to the UN according to a “de facto blockade” of humanitarian aid, lacks food and medicine.

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