A television station controlled by regional authorities has reported an air raid on Mekelle, the capital of northern Ethiopia’s Tigray region, despite adamant denials by the government.
The broadcast shared that several civilians were wounded in the recent air raid which is the first of its kind in Mikelle since the conflict erupted last year.
Tigrai TV said the attack on the city of Mekelle was carried out by Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, and the government forces he leads.
Tigrai TV is controlled by the region’s ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
The first air raid occurred in the morning on the outskirts of Mekelle near a cement factory, the AFP news agency reported, citing humanitarian and diplomatic sources.
The second took place about midday in the city centre near the Planet Hotel, often used by top officials from the TPLF, AFP reported.
The TPLF said the aerial assaults were designed to inflict civilian casualties.
“Monday is market day in Mekelle & the intention is all too palpable,” TPLF spokesman Getachew Reda said on Twitter.
Conflict erupted between the TPLF and the Ethiopian central government last November.
Government forces swiftly drove the TPLF from Tigray’s cities and towns, but the rebels retook most of the region, including its capital Mekelle, by late June.
Despite countless pleas by the United Nations, the European Union, African nations and recently a sanction by the US targeting principal actors in the country, the conflict in Africa’s second-most populous nation rages on.
The war has killed thousands of people and forced more than two million to flee their homes.
There have been myriad reports of massacres and atrocities, including rape and extrajudicial killings, and hundreds of thousands of people suffering famine