ETHIOPIAN government troops killed four senior officials from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and detained nine others in an operation announced late on Thursday.
TPLF spokesperson Sekoture Getachew and former head of the Tigray finance bureau Daniel Assefa were killed along with former Ethiopian Broadcasting Authority chief Zeray Asgedom and Abebe Asgedom.
Ethiopian army spokesman General Tesfaye Aylew confirmed the killings in a statement. He said that nine TPLF officials were arrested, including former speaker of the regional parliament Kidusan Nega and former Ethiopian ambassador to Sudan Abadi Zemu.
The hunt is still on for other TPLF leaders including chairman Debrestion Gebremichael, whose whereabouts are unknown.
In November the government issued arrest warrants for 60 TPLF leaders as it began a military offensive against the northern Tigray region.
It followed a breakdown in relations over the holding of regional elections.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet warned of the ethnic profiling of Tigrayans in December, including in the capital Addis Ababa. She called for independent monitoring of the situation.
The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, which has released a number of reports, has been described by Amnesty International as “lacking independence and serving government interests rather than providing accountability for abuses.”