The Eritrean capital Asmara was targeted for the third time by rockets fired from Tigray, diplomatic sources said Sunday, the day after the capture of Mekele, the capital of the dissident region in northern Ethiopia.
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Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced on Saturday evening to “control” Mekele, the stronghold of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), in power in Tigray, a decisive step in the military operation that began on November 4.
“At approximately 10:13 p.m. on November 28 there were six explosions in Asmara,” wrote the US Embassy in Eritrea in a “security alert” posted on its website on Sunday.
Two diplomats based in Addis Ababa, for their part, told AFP that multiple rockets were fired on Saturday evening towards Asmara and that they appear to have targeted the airport and military installations.
As with previous attacks, neither the location where the rockets landed nor the damage they may have caused could be clearly established.
Eritrea, located just north of Tigray, is one of the most closed countries in the world and its government has not commented on any of the shots.
On Friday evening, at least one rocket also fired from Tigray had already targeted Asmara according to diplomatic sources. Similar weapons hit the Eritrean capital two weeks ago.
The TPLF claimed responsibility for the first shot, accusing Eritrea of lending a hand to the Ethiopian Federal Army, but the party did not comment on the next two shots.
Contacted Sunday by AFP, the leaders of the TPLF were not immediately reachable.
Tigray has been virtually cut off from the rest of the world since the start of the conflict and the location of the Tigrayan leaders, whom the federal army said “hunted” on Saturday evening, was not known on Sunday.
It was also not possible to independently confirm whether Mekele, which had a population of 500,000 before the start of the conflict, is completely under the control of the army.
Eritrea is the sworn enemy of the TPLF, which for almost 30 years controlled the political and security apparatus in Ethiopia.
When the TPLF was in power in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Eritrea clashed in a deadly war between 1998 and 2000. The two countries remained at loggerheads until Abiy Ahmed became prime minister in 2018, and made peace. with Asmara, an initiative that earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019.