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Tigray forces claim Ethiopian airstrike killed 56

An airstrike in Ethiopia’s besieged Tigray region has killed at least 56 people in a camp for internally displaced people, a spokesperson said.

“Another ruthless drone attack,” Getachew Reda tweeted, saying civilians fled conflict elsewhere in the region to become the latest victims of recent airstrikes that are believed to have killed dozens of people in Tigray.

Ethiopian government and military spokespersons did not respond to requests for comment on the airstrike, which could not be independently confirmed.

Much of Tigray remains cut off from the world, with limited communications for aid workers who have found their work severely limited by a government blockade lasting several months.

Reports of the airstrike on Dedebit camp in northwest Tigray came a day after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed issued a message of reconciliation for Orthodox Christians after 14 months of war.

The Ethiopian conflict changed at the end of December, when Tigray forces fighting the Ethiopian government withdrew to the Tigray region after approaching the capital, Addis Ababa. A military offensive backed by drones pushed them back.

The UN aid agency reported late last month that between December 19 and 24, “airstrikes on Tigray reportedly claimed massive civilian lives, including dozens of people killed. which makes it the most intense series of air strikes and casualties reported since October “.

He said most of the attacks and casualties were reported in towns in southern Tigray.

The United Nations refugee agency reported Thursday that an airstrike killed three Eritrean refugees, including two children, the day before in Mai Aini camp.

The Ethiopian government on Friday announced an amnesty for some of the country’s most prominent political detainees, including senior Tigray party officials.

Ethiopia’s justice ministry said the amnesty had been granted “for the next national dialogue to be successful and inclusive”.

Ethiopian politicians last month approved a bill to establish a national dialogue commission amid international pressure for negotiations to end the war.

Tens of thousands of people are estimated to have been killed in the war that erupted in November 2020 between Ethiopian forces and the Tigray forces that once ruled the country.