Ethiopia: Air strike hits capital of Tigray region says health official

Ethiopia: Air strike hits capital of Tigray region says health official
An air strike hit Tigray's capital late on Tuesday as fighting between the government and rebels resumes following the end of a four-month-old ceasefire last week.
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Half of pregnant or lactating women in Tigray are malnourished, as well as a third of children under five [source: Getty]

An air strike hit a neighbourhood near a hospital in the capital of Ethiopia's northern Tigray region late on Tuesday, said the head of another hospital which received casualties. This attack occurred less than a week after fighting shattered a four-month old ceasefire.

Kibrom Gebreselassie, chief executive of Ayder General Hospital, said on Twitter that an area near Mekelle General Hospital had been hit. The extent of the damage and casualties was unclear.

Ethiopian government spokesman Legesse Tulu, military spokesman Colonel Getnet Adane and the prime minister's spokeswoman Billene Seyoum did not respond to requests for comment on the air strike.

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Getachew Reda, spokesman for the Tigray regional government, said on Twitter that at least three bombs had been dropped and that the Mekelle Hospital was among the targets.

Another doctor at Ayder confirmed to Reuters he had heard three explosions late at night.

Reuters was unable to reach people in Mekelle for confirmation because the region has not had phone communication since Ethiopian troops pulled out more than a year ago.

The latest strike follows a hit on a children's play area on Friday that killed seven people, including women and children. 

The war in Tigray has raged on for nearly two years. 

The government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) have each blamed the other for unleashing renewed hostilities in areas bordering the southeastern tip of Tigray.

The war has killed untold numbers of civilians and left millions in need of humanitarian aid across the north. Across Tigray and the neighbouring regions of Afar and Amhara, also affected by the war, an estimated 13 million people need food aid, a 44 percent increase from the previous WFP report.