NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The Ethiopian military has begun its offensive in the Tigray regional capital in its quest to arrest the region’s defiant leaders.
Tigray TV announced the shelling midday Saturday in Mekele, a city of a half-million people. A report from the city confirms it.
The Tigray leader could not immediately be reached. Ethiopia’s government did not immediately comment.
Ethiopia’s government had warned Mekele residents there would be “no mercy” if they didn’t move away from the leaders of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front in time.
Communications remain largely severed to the Tigray region of some 6 million people, making it difficult to verify claims by the warring sides in the conflict between Ethiopia’s government and the TPLF, which once dominated the country’s ruling coalition but was sidelined under new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
Abiy has rejected dialogue with the TPLF. Each government regards the other as illegal.