Blue Update

Ethiopia Tigray Crisis : ROCKETS FIRED AT AIRPORTS.

Forces in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region have fired rockets at airports in a neighbouring region, as their conflict with the government grows.

The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) said it had targeted the two sites in the Amhara region and warned of further strikes.

Tension between the government and TPLF escalated over the past month. Residents in the capital city of Eritrea, which borders Ethiopia, have also reported explosions.

While the cause of the blasts in Asmara remained unclear, a spokesman for the TPLF had earlier warned Eritrea could be targeted. Eritrea fought a bloody war with Ethiopia two decades ago with final peace only agreed in 2018.

Fighting over Tigray has also affected Sudan, with at least 17,000 civilians crossing the border from Ethiopia, according to the UN.

The Ethiopian government’s emergency task force said rockets had been fired towards the cities of Bahir Dar and Gondar, in Amhara state, late on Friday.

One rocket hit the airport in Gondar and partially damaged it, while a second fired simultaneously landed just outside of the airport in Bahir Dar, an official told Reuters news agency that.

Details on casualties were not immediately clear. Both airports are used by military and civilian aircraft.

Forces from Amhara have been fighting alongside their federal counterparts against Tigray fighters. The TPLF said the rocket attacks were retaliation for recent air strikes conducted by Mr Abiy’s forces.

“As long as the attacks on the people of Tigray do not stop, the attacks will intensify,” spokesman Getachew Reda said in a Facebook post. Speaking later on Tigray TV, the spokesman warned of further strikes.

Ethiopia’s prime minister has predicted a swift military victory in Tigray, but he may have underestimated his enemy, says the BBC’s African regional editor, Will Ross.

Tigrayan troops are experienced and know the mountainous terrain well, he says. There are fears that a drawn-out regional conflict would have horrific consequences for civilians in Ethiopia and the wider Horn of Africa.

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