Addis Ethiopia Weblog

Ethiopia's World / የኢትዮጵያ ዓለም

Children Among 64 Dead in Ethiopia Airstrike on Tigray Market

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on June 25, 2021

Ethiopia’s military today said it was responsible for a deadly airstrike on a busy marketplace in the country’s Tigray region. Health workers said the attack killed at least 64 people, including children, but the military insisted only combatants were targeted.

A doctor who managed to reach the market in Togoga village after Ethiopian soldiers blocked medical teams from responding to Wednesday’s attack escribed a “horrible” scene of badly wounded people lying on the ground, crying in pain with no medical care.

“It was very traumatising,” he told The Associated Press. “I think most of the patients, they died because we were late there, because care wasn’t available.”

Most of the patients taken to regional hospitals weren’t critical, he said: “The critical patients were already dead.” Like others, he spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation.

The doctor who reached the scene said “most of the patients we found were mothers, children and elderly fathers. There were few young men”.

The airstrike wounded more than 100 people, half of them seriously, a regional health official said. Health workers said Ethiopian forces blocked medical teams from responding and shot at a Red Cross ambulance trying to reach the scene.

Bodies were still being pulled from the rubble and dozens of survivors were still arriving at regional hospitals with shrapnel and blunt trauma wounds two days after the airstrike, said a doctor in the regional capital, Mekele. The International Committee of the Red Cross called the transport of seriously injured to Mekele “a matter of life and death”.

Even today, United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters that the UN still hasn’t 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,” he said.

The airstrike, one of the worst massacres of the war, came amid some of the fiercest fighting in Tigray since the conflict began in November as Ethiopian forces, supported by neighboring Eritrea, pursue Tigray’s former leaders.

The United States and the European Union have condemned the airstrike in Togoga that left children, including a 1-year-old baby, screaming in pain.

A “reprehensible act,” the US State Department said. “Denying victims urgently needed medical care is heinous and absolutely unacceptable. We urge the Ethiopian authorities to ensure full and unhindered medical access to the victims immediately. We also call for an urgent and independent investigation.”

The US also called for an immediate cease-fire in Tigray, where thousands of civilians have been killed and 350,000 people are now facing one of the world’s worst famines in years.

“At least 33,000 children in inaccessible parts of Tigray are severely malnourished and face imminent death without immediate help,” the latest UN humanitarian update said yesterday.

The real death toll from the airstrike could be even higher because some people likely took the dead home to their nearby villages and buried them without telling regional officials, Hailu said.

Source

______________________________________

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: