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Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) forces claim killing 502 government troops

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The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) claimed it has killed hundreds of Ethiopian national soldiers including those from Eritrea, according to a report written by Kenya’s Daily Nation.

TPLF said it killed 502 troops who were allegedly involved in an offensive in Ethiopia’s northern region last week. The fighting also left a number of soldiers wounded according to Tigray Defence Forces (TDF) spokesperson Gebre Gebretsadik.

“On Monday, February 8, our forces launched a military offensive against enemy troops stationed around Kola-Temben town in Juwamare locality. We have completely eliminated enemy forces,” said Gebre in an interview with Dimtsi Woyane (DW) TV.

“On the next day, our forces attacked enemy defense positions around Tembein town in Adi-Chilo locality and killed 358 troops,” he added.

“At least 150 were also wounded,” he said, adding “backup forces were sent but were beaten.”

TDF also claimed to have seized and destroyed a number of military hardware including five tanks, 177 rockets, 22 military vehicles, several weapons, and communication facilities.

In November, Ethiopia’s government issued arrest warrants for more than 60 senior leaders of the TPLF but the whereabouts of Chairman Debrestion Gebremichael and many other TPLF leaders is unknown.

In mid-December, the Ethiopian army announced that it would offer a reward of around 200,000 euros for information on their location.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched a military operation against the northern Tigray region on November 4, after months of tensions between the central government and the TPLF.

The TPLF dominated Ethiopian politics for almost 30 years but since Abiy’s appointment in 2018, the party has been gradually marginalized.

After Abiy’s offensive, the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner installed a new administration in Tigray and declared the official end of the military operation at the end of November.

Since then, it has been difficult for the United Nations, journalists and humanitarian organizations to access Tigray.

It is believed thousands have been killed in the conflict while more than 50,000 people have fled to seek refuge in neighboring Sudan and more than 63,000 are displaced inside the region, according to the UN.

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