Ethiopian airstrikes hit Tigray, 2 children among dead

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Ethiopian airstrikes hit Tigray, 2 children among dead

Four people, including two children, were killed in an Ethiopian airstrike in the capital of the northern Tigray region, a hospital official said Friday, quoting news agencies AFP and Reuters.

Reports of the strike on Mekele came shortly after fighting resumed between government forces and rebels, ending a truce that had been in place since March.

Kibrom Gebreselassie, the chief executive of Ayder Hospital, the region's largest medical facility, told the AFP news agency that four people had died "by the time they arrived [at] the hospital."

"Two of the dead are children," he confirmed. Gebreselassie said nine people had been injured in the strike which hit a children's playground in the city.

Tigray rebels and government have different versions of events

Tigrayan rebels accused the air force of hitting a residential area and a kindergarten, while the Ethiopian government said it was "targeting only military sites."

The Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) "has begun dumping fake body bags in civilian areas in order to claim that the air force attacked civilians," the government's Communication Service said in a statement.

But TPLF spokesman had a different version of events. "Civilians are dead and injured" and a rescue operation was under way, Kindeya Gebrehiwot told AFP.

A cease-fire was announced five months ago after both sides fought to a bloody stalemate. The truce also aimed to allow urgently needed humanitarian aid into the region.

The fighting has killed thousands of civilians and displaced millions of people, with half of the Tigray region facing severe food shortages.

Additionally, most of the people living in Tigray have had no access to telephone or internet services for over a year.

Ethiopian airstrikes hit Tigray, 2 children among dead

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