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Ethiopia says there are Tigrayan fighters not yet defeated after conflict

Dec 08, 2020
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ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Ethiopia said on Tuesday that there were fighters from the rebellious northern region of Tigray who had not been defeated, after the government declared its military offensive there over.

“There are a few remnants of the militia or special forces not yet controlled,” Redwan Hussein, spokesman of the government’s task force for the Tigray crisis, told reporters.

A month of fighting between Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s federal army and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) is believed to have killed thousands of people and driven nearly 50,000 refugees into neighbouring Sudan.

The army seized the regional capital Mekelle from the TPLF and declared an end to their month-long offensive. But TPLF leaders say they are fighting back on various fronts around Mekelle.

Most communications in Tigray are down and access to the area is severely restricted, making it hard to verify either side’s statements. It was not immediately possible to reach the TPLF for comment on the latest government statement.

The government spokesman also said “sporadic shooting” was continuing in Tigray, which he said was not uncommon for the area.

Reporting by Addis Ababa newsroom; Writing by Maggie Fick; Editing by Jon Boyle and Philippa Fletcher

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