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Aid workers say Ethiopia air strike in northwest Tigray killed 56 people

Randy Mancini 4 Jan 8
Survivor of air strike by Ethiopian government forces receives treatment at hospital in the town of Dedebit, Tigray region
A survivor of an air strike by Ethiopian government forces receives treatment at the Shire Shul General hospital in the town of Dedebit, in northern region of Tigray, Ethiopia January 8, 2022. REUTERS/Stringer

January 8, 2022

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) -An air strike in Ethiopia’s northern region of Tigray killed 56 people and wounded at least 30 in a camp for the internally displaced, two aid workers told Reuters on Saturday, citing local authorities and eyewitness accounts.

Military spokesman Colonel Getnet Adane and government spokesman Legesse Tulu did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The government has previously denied targeting civilians in the 14-month conflict with rebellious Tigrayan forces.

Both aid workers, who asked not to be named as they are not authorised to speak to the media, said the number of dead was confirmed by the local authorities.

The aid workers sent Reuters pictures they said they had taken of the wounded in hospital, who included many children.

The strike hit the camp in the town of Dedebit, in the northwest of the region near the border with Eritrea, late on Friday night, the aid workers said.

One of the aid workers, who visited Shire Shul General Hospital where the injured were brought for treatment, said the camp hosts many old women and children.

“They told me the bombs came at midnight. It was completely dark and they couldn’t escape,” the aid worker said.

Ethiopian federal troops went to war with rebellious Tigrayan forces in November 2020.

Before the latest strike, at least 146 people have been killed and 213 injured in air strikes in Tigray since Oct. 18, according to a document prepared by aid agencies and shared with Reuters this week.

(Reporting by Addis Ababa NewsroomWriting by Duncan Miriri and Katharine Houreld;Editing by Frances Kerry)