Ethiopia says reports of air strikes on Tigray capital ‘total and absolute lie’

Members of Tigray police at a checkpoint in the outskirts of Mekele. PHOTO | EDUARDO SOTERAS | AFP

Ethiopian government, on Monday, denied claims of deadly air strikes on Mekele, the Tigrayan regional capital, labeling it an “utter fiction.”

The head of the Government Communication Service, Legesse Tulu, told AFP that “there is no motive, and there is no plan, to attack civilians in Mekele, Ethiopia, which is home to our own citizens. This is a complete fabrication” he said.

Three persons were killed in the air raids, according to a medical official, which were confirmed by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) as well as humanitarian and diplomatic sources.

“It is a whole and complete fabrication perpetrated by the TPLF junta in order to mislead the world community and exert pressure on the Ethiopian government,” he said.

The Ethiopian foreign ministry accused the TPLF of “crying wolf” and said the rebels had themselves “launched widescale unwarranted attacks against civilians”.

“The government of Ethiopia is deeply dismayed by the reticence of the international community to condemn the perpetuated atrocities of the TPLF,” it said in a statement posted in English on Twitter.

It also again accused the TPLF of hindering humanitarian aid supplies to Tigray, where the United Nations has said hundreds of thousands of people have been pushed into famine-like conditions.

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