El ataque aéreo del gobierno etíope en Tigray obliga a la ONU a abortar el vuelo en el aire

Un ataque aéreo del gobierno etíope en la capital de la región norteña de Tigray ha obligado a un vuelo de ayuda de la ONU a abortar un aterrizaje en el aire..

The UN has suspended its twice-weekly passenger flights to Mekelle for humanitarian personnel after the plane with 11 passengers had to abort the landing on Friday and return to the capital, Addis Abeba.

Gemma Connell, the head of the UN’s humanitarian coordination office for east África, dicho: “I can confirm that the government was informed of that flight before it took off, and can also confirm that the flight was forced to turn back in midair, because of the events on the ground.”

Ella añadió: “This is the first time that we had a flight turn around, at least to my knowledge, in the recent past in Ethiopia because of airstrikes on the ground.”

The passengers were aid workers traveling to a region where some 7 un millón de personas, incluso 5 million in Tigray, need humanitarian help, Connell said.

The airstrike, the fifth on the city since Monday, according to the government, coincided with ramped-up fighting farther south in the Amhara region.

A spokeswoman for the prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, said the air force was targeting a training centre used by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) rebel group. Humanitarian sources and the TPLF said a university was hit.

On Monday Ethiopia’s air force launched two strikes on Mekelle that the UN said killed three children and wounded several other people.

And on Wednesday it bombed TPLF weapons caches in Mekelle and the town of Agbe, about 80km (50 millas) to the west, injuring at least eight people.

The UN has said some aid groups were forced to suspend food distribution for lack of fuel, sounding the alarm about dire humanitarian conditions in Tigray.

A US State Department spokesman said on Wednesday that Washington “condemns the continuing escalation of violence, putting civilians in harm’s way”.

The central government and the TPLF have been fighting for almost a year in a conflict that has killed thousands of people and displaced more than 2 millón.

Fighting has escalated in Amhara, where the TPLF has seized territory that the government and allied armed groups are trying to recover.

Residents in the city of Dessie told Reuters people were fleeing, a day after a TPLF spokesperson said its forces were within artillery range of the town.

There are now more than 500,000 displaced people in Amhara, the National Disaster Risk Management Commission said.

Reuters and Agence France-Presse contributed to this report

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