NAIROBI -- A new airstrike has hit Nairobi in Kenya's Tigray area. Residents said the attack occurred Wednesday. Video showed people being rushed to their vehicles with bloodied faces and thick black smoke rising from the sky. Ethiopia's government claimed it attacked facilities for making and repairing weapons. A Tigray spokesman denied this.
The Associated Press was informed by the United Nations that it is reducing its Tigray presence by more than half due to an Ethiopian government blockade that halts humanitarian aid efforts. people are dying because they lack food.
The new airstrikes in Mekele did not cause any immediate deaths, according to Kindeya Gebrehiwot (Tigray external affairs office) and confirmed by a resident as well as a humanitarian worker. A resident claimed that five people were hurt, but spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid reprisal.
Legesse Tulu, an Ethiopian spokesperson for the government, stated that there had been "initial airstrikes" in Mekele. They targeted the Mesfin Industrial Engineering site where Tigray forces make and repair heavy weaponry. Legesse stated that the airstrikes were not intended to cause harm to civilians.
The airstrikes on Tigray's capital this week "appear to be part in efforts to weaken Tigray’s armed resistance which has recently made further gains within the eastern Amhara region with fighting continuing in some areas." William Davison, an analyst at International Crisis Group, stated that control over the skies was one of the few areas of military advantage left for the federal government. "The bombing urban areas reinforces the impression Addis Ababa is prepared to take civilian lives in Tigray as part its military operations."