airstrike hits playground in tigray
Ethiopia – At least seven people have been killed in an airstrike on a playground in Ethiopia’s northern capital of Tigray, health officials said. This was the first such attack since the violation of the ceasefire that had been in place for four months this week.
Officials said three children were among the dead, but a federal government spokesman denied any civilian casualties.
Friday’s air strike on Mekella came two days after fighting broke out again between the national government and Tigray forces on the border of the Tigray and Amhara regions, violating the ceasefire.
Tigray TV blamed the federal government for the strike. No other military aircraft operate in Ethiopian airspace.
In turn, the Ethiopian government urged the inhabitants of Tigray to stay away from military installations, saying they intend to take action against the armed forces.
Kibrom Gebreselassie, chief executive of the Ayder hospital, said on Twitter that only 13 people had been admitted to the hospital, with four dead, including two children, and nine injured. He said the strike took place in a playground.
Federal government spokesman Leges Tulu said the news of civilian casualties was a lie and a fabricated drama and accused the Tigrayan authorities of dropping body bags. He denied that government strikes targeted civilian targets and said they only targeted military targets. Although it is not known whether there were military facilities in the vicinity of the air explosions.
Footage released by Tigrai TV shows the building with its roof blown off, revealing twisted slides and rescuers carrying stretchers from behind a damaged pink wall that features a giant butterfly.
Fasika Amdeslasi, a surgeon at Ayder Hospital, said a colleague at Mekelle Hospital told him that she received three more bodies – a mother, her child and another unknown person, bringing the total death toll to seven. “Their bodies were torn apart ,” he said. “I have seen their bodies myself.”