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UN: humanitarian agencies suspend work in Tigray after air strikes

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UN humanitarian agencies have suspended their work in Tigray after air strikes in which dozens of people were killed and injured in an air strike in a camp for displaced people in northern Ethiopia, aid workers said.

The images spread over the social media, believed to be of injured people in cure, following an air attack on a school in the city of Didibet, in the province of Tigray.

It was not possible to independently confirm the occurrence of the raid.

Government forces have been fighting rebels in Tigray for more than a year, in a war that claimed thousands of lives.

Clashes on the ground between government forces and the rebel alliance led by Tigray leaders have temporarily suspended, but airstrikes on rebel positions continue.

On Saturday, Reuters news agency quoted rescuers as saying local authorities had confirmed the death toll.

Rescuers, whose names were not disclosed, provided pictures of the injured in hospitals, including children.

It is not known how or why the school was hit by the air attack.

On previous occasions, the Ethiopian government has denied targeting civilians.

On Friday, the government announced the release of prominent opposition figures, including leaders of the Tigray Rebel People’s Liberation Front.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said the move aims to achieve national reconciliation and promote “unity”.

The conflict in Tigray broke out in November 2020 when Abiy Ahmed ordered a military campaign against regional forces in thearea. He said he did in response to an attack on a military base by government forces there.

The tension peaked after months of tug-of-war between Abi Ahmed’s government and the leaders of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front.

The conflict has forced thousands of people to flee their homes and the United Nations has warned that thearea it needs urgent humanitarian assistance, including medical supplies.

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