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Ethiopian Defense Forces dismisses allegation about killings of civilians in air strike

The Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) on Thursday dismissed the allegation about the killings of civilians during an air strike,…

The Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) on Thursday dismissed the allegation about the killings of civilians during an air strike, about 25 kilometers outside of Mekelle, capital of the Tigray region.ENDF’s statement came a day after the rebellious Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) claimed it shot down a Lockheed C-130 Hercules military jet in the northern part of the region.

Various media outlets including the BBC Amharic service in Ethiopia had reported about the killing of  civilians in an air strike last Tuesday.

Colonel Getenet Adane, Ethiopian Defense Force Public Relations Director, said the federal force conducted the airstrike against what he called junta’s terrorist group which was getting together to celebrate Martyrs day.” 

He confirmed that Ethiopian Air Force conducted an airstrike on Tuesday this week against the forces of Migbe Haile near Kolla Temben , and no civilians were targeted in the attack. 

“Our defense force is even paying sacrifices because of the extra cautions it is making to avoid civilian casualties,” Colonel Getnet added.  

Pro- TPLF groups have been claiming victory against Ethiopian Defense Forces this week. They went to the extent of claiming that TPLF forces controlled cities and took thousands of Ethiopian Defense Forces as captives. 

The Ethiopian Defense Force was withdrawn from most parts of Tigray region for deployment in other parts of the country as part of security arrangements for the sixth general election in the country, he said. The TPLF terrorists, he added, exploited the situation to move around urban centers and cause security problems. 

The director also dismissed claims by the TPLF force that it shot down a military jet in Kola Temben district in the northern part of the region.

The Ethiopian Parliament has designated TPLF, which is currently operating as a guerrilla group in different parts of the region, as a terrorist organization. 

It is believed to be operating in the wildernesses of Tigray in most cases but it also appears to have clandestine cells in and near urban centers operating as civilians. 

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