New airstrike in Ethiopia’s Tigray capital; kids among dead

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Residents sift through rubble from a destroyed building at the scene of an airstrike in Mekele, in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021. An Ethiopian government spokesman says a new airstrike has hit Mekele, targeting a site used by rival Tigray forces to make and repair weapons, while a Tigray spokesman instead says it struck a “civilian residence” killing six people and wounding more than 20. (AP Photo)

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A new airstrike hit the capital of Ethiopia’s Tigray region on Thursday following several days of such strikes last week, and a Tigray spokesman asserted that six people including children were killed, as the year-long war intensifies.

Government spokesman Legesse Tulu told The Associated Press the airstrike targeted a site in Mekele city used by rival Tigray forces to make and repair weapons. He said the site forms part of a compound belonging to Mefsin Industrial Engineering, which was also hit last week.

Tigray spokesman Nahusenay Belay denied that the airstrike hit a military target and said it struck a “civilian residence,” killing six people and wounding more than 20. Three children were among the dead, he said.

Photos from the scene appeared to show rescuers pulling bodies from debris.

Ethiopia’s government has asserted that the latest airstrikes have been confined to military targets, but Tigray forces have asserted that civilian facilities including factories and a clinic have been targeted instead.

Meanwhile, fighting continues in Ethiopia’s neighboring Amhara region after the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched a ground offensive there earlier this month, despite international calls for a cease-fire.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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