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Ethiopian offensive in two northern regions intensifies, Tigrayan forces say

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NAIROBI, Oct 13 (Reuters) – An air and floor offensive by Ethiopian troops and their allies towards rebellious forces from the northern Tigray area is intensifying, a spokesperson for the Tigrayan forces mentioned on Wednesday, claiming “staggering” casualties.

Getachew Reda of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) advised Reuters by telephone that the Ethiopian army and allies from the Amhara area have been combating the Tigrayan forces on a number of fronts, in each the Amhara and Afar regions which neighbour Tigray.

A spokesperson for the Ethiopian army didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark. The army and authorities haven’t acknowledged a contemporary offensive, which the TPLF says started with air strikes final week, days after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was sworn in for a brand new five-year time period. learn extra

“It’s an ongoing fight and the number of casualties is staggering,” Getachew mentioned, including that he couldn’t give particulars of the variety of useless or wounded. He mentioned there was combating close to the city of Weldiya in Amhara and that combating had resumed in Afar, in the Haro and Chifra areas close to the Amhara border.

Reuters was not in a position to independently confirm the scenario on the bottom or to substantiate casualty numbers as a result of the realm is closed to journalists and plenty of telephone connections are down.

The combating has raised fears that it may additional destabilise the Horn of Africa nation of 109 million folks and plunge Tigray deeper into famine. The battle has already drawn in Ethiopia’s neighbour, the secretive and repressive nation of Eritrea, which despatched troops throughout the border to help the Ethiopian army when the battle erupted in November 2020.

Aid staff citing witnesses advised Reuters that Eritrean fighters have been nonetheless inside Ethiopia and collaborating in the battle.

Eritrean Information Minister Yemane Gebremeskel didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

The U.S. State Department mentioned on Tuesday it was contemplating using financial sanctions to penalise events answerable for the violence.

Thousands of civilians have been killed and hundreds of thousands displaced by combating since struggle erupted in Tigray. Tigrayan forces have been initially crushed again, however recaptured many of the area in July and pushed into the neighbouring Amhara and Afar regions, displacing a whole bunch of 1000’s extra folks.

Amhara claims the Western Tigray, a swathe of fertile farmland with a strategically vital border with Sudan, which has been underneath Amhara management for the reason that combating started. Tigray’s borders at the moment are surrounded by hostile forces and the United Nations says the federal government is blockading meals help to a whole bunch of 1000’s of ravenous folks – a cost it denies.

Another humanitarian employee citing witnesses mentioned Eritrean forces have been combating Tigrayans in Berhale, a city in the Afar area.

Writing by Maggie Fick; enhancing by Katharine Houreld and Nick Macfie

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