Ethiopian federal troops went to war with rebellious Tigrayan forces in November 2020. Since the war erupted, there have been atrocities by all sides, which the parties to the fighting have denied.
One of the aid workers said that one of the wounded, Asefa Gebrehaworia, 75, burst into tears as he recounted how his friend was killed. He was being treated for injuries to his left leg and hand.
Fighting had forced Asefa out of his home and now the air strike had destroyed the camp, where even though he was facing hunger at least he had shelter, he told the aid worker. He had arrived in the camp for displaced people from the border town of Humera.
Before the latest attack, at least 146 people had been killed and 213 injured in air strikes in Tigray since October 18, according to a document prepared by aid agencies and shared with Reuters this week.
Military spokesman Colonel Getnet Adane and government spokesman Legesse Tulu did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s spokeswoman Billene Seyoum did not respond to a request for comment.
In Friday’s reconciliation move, the government freed opposition leaders from several ethnic groups. They included some leaders of the TPLF.
The US government said Abiy had outlined the steps he was taking towards national reconciliation to its outgoing special envoy for the region, Jeffrey Feltman, when he visited Ethiopia this week.
“We welcome the release of prisoners as a positive move in that context,” said a spokesperson for the US State Department.
The European Union said that while the release of opposition leaders was a positive move, it was concerned by the ongoing conflict.
“All parties must seize the moment to swiftly end the conflict and enter into dialogue,” the bloc said in a statement issued by its high representative for foreign affairs, Josep Borrell.
The TPLF expressed scepticism about Abiy’s call for national reconciliation.
“His daily routine of denying medication to helpless children and of sending drones targeting civilians flies in the face of his self-righteous claims,” its spokesman Getachew tweeted on Friday.
The TPLF accuses federal authorities of imposing an aid blockade on the region, leading to hunger and shortages of essentials like fuel and medicines. The government denies blocking the passage of aid convoys.