56 killed in Ethiopian airstrike in Tigray


An air raid by Ethiopian forces killed 56 people, including children, and left at least 30 others injured in a camp in Tigray housing internally displaced persons (IDP), according to a rebel group on Saturday.

“Another callous drone attack by (Prime Minister) Abiy Ahmed in an IDP camp in Dedebit has claimed the lives of 56 innocent civilians so far. The saddest part of the story is the victims are people displaced from Western Tigray by the regime’s genocidal campaign,” Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) spokesperson Getachew Reda posted on Twitter.

Witnesses took to Twitter and other social media pages to post pictures of the attack and demanded justice for the lives lost during the raid that occurred late Friday.

Media reports that quoted aid workers also widely reported the attack near the border with Eritrea, saying that the number is likely to increase because of a lack of medical supplies in Tigray which has been on a government aid blockade for months.

The government, which is yet to issue a comment, has during previous air raids denied killing or targeting civilians in Tigray.

The attack comes as TPLF fighters have withdrawn to their borders in December to give room for the international community to push for a peace process.

TPLF leader Debretsion Gebremichael in a letter to the UN demanded arms embargoes on Ethiopia and its northern neighbor, Eritrea, along with a no-fly zone for hostile aircraft above Tigray and a probe to confirm that there were no more external forces left in Tigray.

Thousands have been killed as Ethiopian forces have been fighting the Tigrayan rebels since November 2020.

The conflict has also affected other areas of the country, forcing at least 2 million people from their homes and leaving civilians without access to critical humanitarian assistance.

Acute food insecurity is now affecting more than 9.4 million people in northern Ethiopia, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Within Tigray, 5.2 million people, roughly 90% of the population, need humanitarian aid.

According to the UN, all parties to the conflict, including the Ethiopian army, Tigrayan forces and the Eritrean military have “to varying degrees” committed violations of international human rights.