64 killed in Ethiopian airstrike on Tigray

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Tigray

Ethiopia’s military on Friday took responsibility for a deadly airstrike on a marketplace in the country’s Tigray region that killed at least 64 people, including children, AP reports.

The big picture: The airstrike, one of the worst of the war started last November, comes as fighting persists in Tigray.

Ethiopians went to the polls on June 21 in what was being seen as a chance for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to gain democratic legitimacy and conduct the country’s first free and fair election, Axios’ Dave Lawler reports.

A military spokesman said supporters of the Tigray region’s former leaders had assembled to celebrate Martyrs’ Day when the airstrike occurred, per AP.

The strike wounded more than 100 people, at least half of them seriously. The military insists only combatants were targeted, according to AP.

What they’re saying: “It was very traumatizing,” one doctor, who eventually reached the market after Ethiopian soldiers blocked medical teams from responding to the attack, told AP. “I think most of the patients, they died because we were late there, because care wasn’t available.”

United Nations spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said Thursday that the U.N. has not been able to reach the scene.

“Between the fighting and different groups on the ground we need clearance to go and we’ve just not been able to get it,”—AP

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