Ethiopia’s TPLF forces ‘regrouping outside Tigray capital’

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BBC|TIGRAY, ETHIOPIA:   Fighters of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) have been seen trying to re-group outside the city of Mekelle – just days after losing the state capital.

That’s according to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed – who just days earlier had declared the conflict over.

The head of the TPLF said his forces would fight on, indicating the conflict might not be completely over.

Prime Minister Abiy claims that the TPLF fighters who fled Mekelle are in his sight.

“We saw them from the situation room around Hagere Selam, a town 50 km [31 miles] away from the state capital,” he told lawmakers.

He said the federal army didn’t attack because the retreating TPLF fighters had their families and “abducted soldiers” with them.

The head of the TPLF, Debretsion Gebremichael, denied he was in the area, but admitted that his troops were close by.

Earlier, he said the TPLF would fight on as long as the federal troops – which he called “invaders” – were in their land.

Hundreds are believed to have been killed from both sides since fighting began four weeks ago.

Mr Abiy said no civilians have been killed by his troops, but since the federal government has imposed a widespread communications shutdown, that claim is impossible to independently verify.

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