Cape Breton Post

Tigray forces killed 120 civilians in village

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ADDIS ABABA — Rebellious forces from the Tigray region killed 120 civilians over two days in a village in Ethiopia’s Amhara region, local officials told Reuters on Wednesday.

The killings in a village 10 kilometres from the town of Dabat took place on Sept. 1-2, said Sewnet Wubalem, the local administra­tor in Dabat, and Chalachew Dagnew, spokespers­on of the nearby city of Gondar.

The Tigrayan forces later issued a statement rejecting what they called a “fabricated allegation” by the Amhara regional government and denying any involvemen­t in the killing of civilians.

It is the first such report of Tigrayan forces killing a large number of civilians since they seized territory in Amhara. Tens of thousands of people have fled their homes in the region as the Tigrayan forces have advanced.

“So far we have recovered 120 bodies. They were all innocent farmers. But we think the number might be higher. There are people who are missing,” Sewnet, the local administra­tor, told Reuters by phone.

Chalachew, the Gondar city spokespers­on, said he had visited the burial area in the village and that children, women and elderly were among the dead.

He said the killings occurred during the Tigrayan forces’ short presence in the area, and it was now under the control of the Ethiopian federal army.

Reuters was unable to independen­tly verify the accounts.

In their statement, Tigrayan forces called for an independen­t investigat­ion into all atrocities in the region.

Video interviews provided to Reuters by the Gondar city government indicated that villagers fought the Tigrayan forces.

An interview with a man in an old military uniform said the village had mobilized every able person to fight back against the Tigrayan forces when they heard they were approachin­g.

“We fought for five days and they retreated,” said the man, who gave his name as Wubet Fekremaria­m. “When they retreated, they killed our people that they found on their way.”

Last month, Ethiopia’s government urged citizens to join the fight against the Tigrayan forces.

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