According to residents, rebels from Ethiopia’s war-torn Tigray province took Lalibela, a Unesco World Heritage Site in the neighboring Amhara region known for its 12th-century rock-hewn churches.
A senior Amhara official said the rebels, known as the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), were marching “deep” into Amhara territory and threatened vengeance.
“Enough is enough, in my opinion. Because the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) is no longer active in Tigray. The TPLF is making inroads into Amhara territory “Fanta Mandefro, the vice president of Amhara, agreed.
He went on to say, “We need to defend our people.”
The TPLF’s weeks-long drive across Tigray has drew international condemnation and displaced hundreds of thousands of residents, according to Ethiopian officials.
Since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed dispatched troops to remove the TPLF, the regional ruling party that dominated national politics until Abiy assumed office in 2018, Tigray has been devastated by warfare.
Abiy, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate for 2019, said the move was in retaliation to TPLF raids on army camps.
But while Abiy promised victory would be swift, the war took a stunning turn in June when pro-TPLF forces retook the Tigray capital Mekele and the Ethiopian army largely withdrew.