A spokesman for forces in Ethiopia’s Tigray region is denying a report that Tigrayan forces have captured a town in the neighboring Amhara region. Renewed clashes broke out last week between the Tigray People’s Liberation Front and the Ethiopian government after a five-month lull.
On Sunday night, some international media reported that the TPLF had entered the Amhara region town of Weldiya. Speculation also spread on social media.
However, Monday, a TPLF representative told VOA that these claims were false, saying Tigrayan forces have not “yet” entered the town.
So far, the renewed fighting has been centered around the town of Kobo farther north.
Weldiya sits just over 300 kilometers from Addis Ababa and is a strategic point on the road leading south from the Tigray region’s capital, Mekelle, to Addis Ababa.
Any movement by the TPLF farther south could set alarm bells ringing for the federal government. Last year, the TPLF came within 200 kilometers from Addis after it took the town of Dessie on the same road.
Both the Ethiopian government and the TPLF have blamed each other for triggering the clashes last week that ended a five-month cease-fire in Ethiopia’s civil war.
On Friday, it was reported that an Ethiopian government airstrike hit a kindergarten in Tigray, killing at least seven people.
The government accused the TPLF of staging images of the attack.