ADDIS ABEBA – Federal military has defeated local forces in the west of Tigray state, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Thursday, accusing his foes of atrocities during a week of fighting.
“The western region of Tigray has been liberated,” tweeted Abiy. “In those liberated areas, the army is now providing humanitarian assistance and services. It is also feeding the people”.
The Prime Minister accuses the TPLF of starting the conflict by attacking a federal military base and defying central government’s authority.
Abiy said some of his soldiers had been found dead in the town of Sheraro, shot with their legs and arms tied behind their back.
“This kind of cruelty is heartbreaking and the goal is to destroy Ethiopia,” he said.
Hundreds gathered donated blood for troops fighting in the northern region.
The government dispatched troops and warplanes into Tigray last week after forces of TPLF attacked several federal military bases – a move Abiy said had crossed a “red line”.
Ethiopian troops are making substantial advances, capturing towns in Western Tigray in areas that stretch from Dansha to Zalambessa, a town bordering Eritrea, according to generals in the federal Army.
The Ministry of Defence said it will set up a “transitional administration” in parts of Tigray state taken by federal troops in a push against local forces.
“The minister noted that the defense force will bring the criminal junta to justice in no time,” said Defense Minister Kenea Yadeta during a press conference on Wednesday. He also urged local forces in the region to surrender or fight against TPLF leaders.
Meanwhile, authorities are urging the public to take maximum precaution as there might be attack in the city. They also said some 150 suspected “TPLF operatives” accused of seeking to “strike fear and terror” throughout the country had been detained.