UN: Airstrike in Ethiopia kills 3 refugees, including kids

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The United Nations refugee agency says an airstrike has killed three Eritrean refugees, two of them children, in Ethiopia’s Tigray region amid the country’s war.

A statement the agency issued overnight did not say who carried out the airstrike that hit the Mai Aini camp on Wednesday. Ethiopia’s military has conducted several deadly airstrikes in Tigray in recent months, while Tigray ground forces earlier in the conflict attacked some Eritreans in refugee camps.

The statement by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said four other refugees were injured in the strike. “Thankfully, their lives are not at risk,” he said.

Thousands of refugees fled the camps early in the war amid attacks by both Tigray forces and soldiers from nearby Eritrea. Many facilities were destroyed.

Grandi called on all sides to respect the rights of all civilians.

Ethiopia’s war shifted in late December, when the Tigray forces fighting Ethiopia’s government withdrew back into the Tigray region after approaching the capital, Addis Ababa, A drone-supported military offensive pushed them back.

The U.N.’s humanitarian agency reported late last month that between Dec. 19 and 24, “airstrikes on Tigray reportedly led to mass civilian causalities, including dozens of people reportedly killed, making this the most intense series of air attacks and casualties reported since October.” It said most attacks and casualties were reported in towns in southern Tigray.

An estimated tens of thousands of people have been killed in the war that erupted in November 2020, and millions more have been displaced. Ethiopia’s government has sought to restrict reporting on the war and detained some journalists, including a video freelancer accredited to The Associated Press, Amir Aman Kiyaro.

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