Forces from the rebel Tigray region of Ethiopia fired rockets at the distant capital of the neighboring Amhara region on Friday, Amhara authorities said, raising fears that the conflict would spill into a broader war.
Hundreds, maybe thousands of people were killed, and tens of thousands of refugees fled two weeks of fighting in Tigray, raising concerns as to whether Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed would be able to unite his ethnically diverse government.
Once known, but now condemned TPLF group conducted a rocket attack targetting Amhara at about 1:40 a.m, Bahir Dar,” the communications office of the Amhara government said on its Facebook page, referring to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front.
It said no harm was caused by the rockets. Bahir Dar, the district capital of Amhara on the lakeside, is situated hundreds of miles from the battle in Tigray.
The Amhara militia is operating on the government side, and the two regions have a boundary conflict, Tigrayan refugees have told Forsige.
A local journalist told Forsige that they had heard two blasts and that at least one of the missiles had fallen near the airport. Tigrayans in a TPLF-led governing coalition controlled Ethiopia, a federation of 10 ethnic regions, for decades, before Abiy, who is of Amhara and Oromo origin, took office two years ago.
He claims that he seeks to share power more fairly in the nation; he is accused by the TPLF of pursuing a vendetta against former officials and restricting regional rights. After what the government called a TPLF assault on army forces deployed in the area, the war escalated two weeks ago.
A week ago, rockets were launched at two airports in Amhara by Tigray troops. They also launched missiles at the neighboring country of Eritrea, which in 2018 had a long-running enmity with the TPLF leadership.
During the fighting, allegations of ethnically-motivated killings have appeared. A mass killing of civilians, many of whom claimed to be Amhara, has been reported by the rights organization Amnesty International by what it claims were Tigrayan forces on Nov. 9-10, which the Tigray authorities denied.