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Airstrike in Tigray Capital, Mekelle, as Fighting Spreads 


Authorities in Ethiopia’s Tigray region have reported a fresh air strike in the capital, Mekelle, that they say hit near a hospital and a center for displaced people. Meanwhile, Ethiopia’s federal government said in a statement that fighting has spread to the west of Tigray, near the border with Sudan.

Kibrom Gebreselassie, the chief clinical director at Mekelle’s Ayder Referral Hospital, said on Twitter that there was a drone attack “close to midnight” Wednesday near Mekelle General Hospital.

He said casualties were arriving at Ayder Hospital, without giving details.

Meanwhile, Getachew Reda, a spokesman for the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, or TPLF, said on Twitter that at least three bombs were dropped on Mekelle, with Mekelle Hospital being among the targets.

He said there were “no conceivable military targets” in the area where the attack took place.

Due to a telecommunications blackout in Tigray, it was impossible for VOA to confirm the accounts or learn the extent of the casualties.

On Wednesday morning, the Ethiopian government issued a statement saying the TPLF had invaded the Amhara Region, near the border with neighboring Sudan.

Reda denied the allegation, saying the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is “making up stories.”

A five-month cease-fire in Ethiopia’s civil war came to an end last week, dashing hopes for peace talks. Each side has blamed the other for the renewed fighting.

Meanwhile, Sudan’s government has summoned Ethiopia’s ambassador to Khartoum over an assertion he made that the Ethiopian military shot down a plane carrying weapons from Sudanese airspace. Sudan says the allegation was unfounded.