Ethiopia’s PM Abiy promises ‘final’ offensive in Tigray
Ethiopia’s leader has warned that “the final and crucial” military operation will soon be launched against the rulers of the country’s rebellious northern Tigray region.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Tuesday a three-day deadline to surrender had expired, paving the way for a final push on Mekelle, the region’s capital.
“The final critical act of law enforcement will be done in the coming days,” Abiy said in a statement posted on Facebook.
The prime minister’s warning came after federal government forces carried out “precision-led and surgical air operations” outside Mekelle, a government emergency task force said, and ground forces pushed forward.
The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which governs the region, said civilians had been killed in the attacks, allegations the task force denied.
Tigray TV showed what appeared to be a bombed-out residential area with damaged roofs and craters in the ground in Mekelle.
“I heard the sound of some explosions. Boom, boom, boom, as I entered the house,” the station quoted a resident as saying. “When I got out later, I saw all this destruction.”
With communications down and media barred, it is impossible to independently verify assertions made by any side.