New Air Strike On Tigray Capital Mekele
Ethiopia’s military launched a new air strike on the Tigrayan capital Mekele on Wednesday, the second bombardment this week against Tigray People’s Liberation Front targets in the city.
The raids mark a sharp escalation in the near 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 strike.
“It targeted at the facilities that TPLF have turned into arms construction and repair armaments sites,” Legesse Tulu, head of the Government Communication Service said.
It was not immediately known if there were any casualties from the strike, which was reported by the TPLF as well as humanitarian and diplomatic sources and a local resident.
“It was heavy and the jet was so close,” the resident told AFP, adding that it had destroyed an industrial site in the city.
“It has burned the whole compound. We don’t know the casualties but now the whole company is burned to ash.”
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.
The conflict has already killed untold numbers of people and triggered a deep humanitarian crisis, with the United Nations saying up to two million people have been displaced and hundreds of thousands plunged into famine-like conditions.