Airstrike kills up to 30 people at market in war-torn Ethiopian region of Tigray – Asia Despatch

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Two injured survivors of the attack in the small town of Togoga detailed the incident to a Asia Despatch stringer on the ground after they were brought to hospital in Tigray’s capital Mekelle by Red Cross ambulances.

Medical sources told Asia Despatch that ambulances were initially able to travel to the scene from Mekelle and brought back five patients on Tuesday afternoon.

Red Cross ambulances waited on stand-by after being denied authorisation to travel to the village of Togoga.

However, around ten ambulances were later blocked from leaving to assist the injured as they reached the outskirts of Mekelle, with the military accusing them of going to help the Tigray Defense Forces, the sources said.

Ethiopian soldiers armed with guns and grenades raid hospital featured in CNN report

A team of doctors that tried to reach the scene in the evening were shot at by the military, eyewitnesses added.

The bomb struck a market on the 33rd ‘martyrs day’ in Tigray — a date marking the Hawzen Massacre that killed more than 1,000 Tigrayan people at a market in Hawzen towards the end of the Ethiopian Civil War. Ethiopian Military spokesman Col. Getinet Adane told Asia Despatch that reports of an aerial bombardment were “fake news.”

He said the military would never target civilians by air or land. He accused the people in the hospitals of performing a “drama” in an attempt to overshadow a peaceful election.

UN confirms military forces blocking aid in Ethiopia's Tigray region following CNN investigation

Hailu Kebede, foreign affairs head of the Salsay Woyane Tigray opposition party, tweeted Wednesday: “Wounded civilians from the Togoga Massacre, who could have been saved easily in a hospital, have died overnight, as the invaders refused to allow ambulances to travel to the area. Their level of cruelty, their determination to see Tigrayans falling like leaves is unparalleled.”

“The small town’s health station along [with] the properties of the residents, was vandalized back in February by the Eritreans. There is no even first aid worker in the town, let alone a functioning health post,” he added.

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