Ethiopia’s military has launched new air raids on Tigray, the second round of bombardments this week against rebel targets in the war-battered region.
The air raids mark a sharp escalation in the near yearlong conflict in northern Ethiopia pitting government forces and their allies against the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), Tigray’s once-dominant governing party.
The government said it bombed weapons caches in the regional capital Mekelle and the town of Agbe which lies about 80km (50 miles) to the west.
Government spokesman Legesse Tulu told news agencies that it targeted “facilities that TPLF have turned into arms construction and repair armaments sites”.
At least 14 people were injured in the air attacks in Mekelle and three were in critical condition, Hayelom Kebede, the former director of Tigray’s flagship Ayder Referral Hospital, told The Associated Press.
TPLF spokesman Getachew Reda said Wednesday’s bombing raid on Mekelle had targeted a residential “causing injury to civilians and harm to property”.
“[President] Abiy’s reaction to his losses in the ongoing fighting is to target civilians hundreds of kms away from the battlefield,” he said on Twitter.