Roundup: Rockets hit regional capital in north Ethiopia amid ongoing fighting

Source: Xinhua| 2020-11-20 23:17:01|Editor: huaxia

ADDIS ABABA, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Ethiopian government on Friday disclosed that rockets fired by forces of an insurgent region hit Ethiopia's northern Amhara regional state capital, Bahir Dar, in the early hours of Friday.

"Rockets fired by the militant Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) hit Bahir Dar city around 1:00 a.m. The rockets, however, failed to hit the targets, and landed on different unaccompanied areas," Chief Commander of the Ethiopian Air Force, Maj. Gen. Yilma Merdasa, told state media outlets on Friday.

Noting that the rockets landed in a forest area on the outskirts of the city, the Chief Commander of the Ethiopian Air Force also stressed that there was no human and material damage incurred by the rocket attack due to its failure to hit the target.

Residents of Bahir Dar city also confirmed to Xinhua that a rocket blast was heard in the early hours of Friday starting at about 1:30 a.m., which they said is identical with a similar blast that occurred last week.

On November 13, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) claimed that it had fired rockets towards Bahir Dar and Gondar cities targeting airports in the two cities.

The Ethiopian government had also confirmed that "the airport areas have sustained damage" due to the rockets. The Ethiopian government, however, did not disclose the human and material damage incurred by the rocket attack.

Since the early hours of Nov. 4, the Ethiopian government has been undertaking military operations against the TPLF, now in an official war against the federal government.

The federal government's operation followed the TPLF's attack on the Northern command base of the Ethiopian Defense Force, a division stationed in the region for over two decades and based in Mekelle city, capital of Tigray region.

The Ethiopian government has been blaming the TPLF, which was one of the four coalition fronts of Ethiopia's former ruling party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), for masterminding various treasonous acts across different parts of the country with an overarching goal of destabilizing the East African country.

The mounting differences between the federal government and the TPLF were exacerbated in September this year, when the Tigray regional government decided to go ahead with its planned regional elections, which the Ethiopian parliament had previously postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Amid the ongoing fighting, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Refugee Agency, had on Thursday disclosed that the number of Ethiopian refugees fleeing to neighbouring Sudan surpassed 31,000 amid.

"As of this morning, over 31,000 refugees have fled Ethiopia's Tigray region to seek safety in Sudan," the UNHCR said on Thursday.

"The UNHCR and partners are doing their best to address immediate needs, but urgently need support to be able to support the (Sudanese) government in managing the situation," it added.

Ethiopia has already established a committee to address humanitarian concern in the country's restive northern Tigray regional state, said Redwan Hussein, spokesman of a newly-established State of Emergency Task Force for the Tigray conflict. Enditem