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Air strike hits capital of Ethiopias Tigray region health official

NAIROBI (Reuters) -An air strike has hit near a hospital in the administrative centre of Ethiopias northern Tigray region, said the top of another hospital which received casualties, under a week after fighting shattered a four-month ceasefire.

At war since late 2020, the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF), which controls the spot, and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmeds central government have blamed one another for renewed conflict that’s disrupting desperately-needed food aid.

Kibrom Gebreselassie, leader of Ayder General Hospital, tweeted an area near Mekelle General Hospital have been hit late on Tuesday.

The extent of damage and casualties was unclear.

Ethiopian government spokesperson Legesse Tulu, military spokesperson Colonel Getnet Adane and the prime ministers spokesperson Billene Seyoum didn’t react to requests for comment.

Getachew Reda, the TPLF spokesperson, said on Twitter that at the very least three bombs have been dropped and that the Mekelle hospital was on the list of targets.

Another doctor at Ayder confirmed to Reuters he previously heard three explosions late during the night.

Reuters was struggling to reach people in Mekelle for confirmation as the region have not had phone communication since Ethiopian troops pulled out greater than a year ago.

The most recent strike follows popular on a childrens play area on Friday that killed seven people, including women and children.

Humanitarian convoys halted

The vast majority of Tigrays 5.5 million people need food aid, but humanitarian deliveries via the final remaining route through neighbouring Afar region has been halted because of security concerns, a US official said.

On Tuesday, the TPLF said an offensive have been broken and a counter-offensive launched. He underscored the devastation in your community, which includes not had banking, phone or electricity services for greater than a year.

Fuel restrictions also have limited aid distribution, while patients are dying for insufficient medicine and equipment.

Restoring services is really a key demand of the TPLF before peace talks. The federal government wants foretells begin without conditions.

On Saturday, the Ethiopian government communication service said it had pulled its forces out from the town of Kobo, in the Amhara region bordering Tigray, blaming the TPLF for sending human waves contrary to the town and endangering civilians.

The federal government said Tigrayan forces were attacking in two directions across the border with Amhara south and across the border with Afar to the east.

(Reporting by Nairobi newsroom;Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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