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Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict: Dozens killed in airstrike at camp, say aid staff

A child receives treatment at hospital in the town of Dedebit, in Ethiopia's northern region of Tigray

Image source, Reuters

Fifty-six people have been killed and dozens more injured in an airstrike on a camp for the displaced in northern Ethiopia, aid workers say.

Images on social media purportedly show people receiving treatment after the strike on a school in the town of Dedebit, in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.

There has been no independent confirmation of the attack.

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Government forces have been fighting rebels in Tigray for over a year in a war that has ended thousands of lives.

While clashes on the ground between the Ethiopian military and a rebel alliance – led by Tigrayans – have temporarily stopped, airstrikes against rebel positions have continued.

On Saturday, aid workers told Reuters news agency that the number of casualties had been confirmed by local authorities.

The aid workers, who were not named, also provided photographs of people wounded in hospital, including a number of children.

It is unclear how or why the school was hit. The Ethiopian government has previously denied targeting civilians.

On Friday, the government announced the release of several high-profile opposition figures, including leaders of the rebel Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said the move was aimed at achieving national reconciliation and promoting “unity”.

The Tigray conflict broke out in November 2020 after Mr Abiy ordered a military offensive against regional forces in the area. He said he did so in response to an attack on a military base housing government troops there.

The escalation came after months of feuding between Mr Abiy’s government and leaders of the TPLF.

Many people have been displaced in the conflict and the UN has warned that the region is in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, including medical supplies.

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