Airstrike on busy market in Ethiopia’s Tigray kills dozens

An airstrike hit a busy market in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray village of Togoga on Tuesday, according to health workers who say soldiers blocked medical teams from traveling to the scene. Dozens of people were killed, they and a former resident say, citing witnesses.

Two doctors and a nurse in Tigray’s regional capital, Mekele, tell The Associated Press they are unable to confirm how many people were killed, but one doctor says health workers at the scene reported “more than 80 civilian deaths.” The health workers spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation.

The alleged airstrike comes amid some of the fiercest fighting in the Tigray region since the conflict began in November as Ethiopian forces supported by those from neighboring Eritrea pursue Tigray’s former leaders. A military spokesman and the spokeswoman for Ethiopia’s prime minister do not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Wounded patients being treated at Mekele’s Ayder hospital tell health workers that a plane dropped a bomb on Togoga’s marketplace. The six patients included a 2-year-old child with “abdominal trauma” and a 6-year-old, the nurse says. An ambulance carrying a wounded baby to Mekele, almost 60 kilometers (37 miles) away by road, was blocked for two hours and the baby died on the way, the nurse adds.

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