TPLF forces ‘Partially destroyed’ Axum Airport, Govt says

ADDIS ABEBA – Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) forces have caused damage to the airport in the historic town of Axum, government said on Monday.

“They have attacked and destroyed partially the town’s airport. They have also destroyed the runway of the airport by dozers,” said Redwan Hussein, spokesperson of the taskforce for state of emergency for Tigray.

Redwan said the damages could be rehabilitated. “But the intent of destroying cities and towns would depict how reckless this team,” he said adding that the TPLF forces could destroy any area “unless it remain under its control”.

The spokesperson said the prime minister chose to issue an ultimatum on Sunday to “let the residents of Mekelle understand that the beginning of the end is within reach”.

Last week, the government said its troops took over some key towns, including Axum, from TPLF Forces and the army is closing in on Mekelle City.

The federal forces have currently encircled the capital of the Tigray regional state, according to the government. “Now it’s east to effectively target Mekelle which are hidden in any places,” he said.

The central government launched a military operation following TPLF forces deadly attack defense force base located in the region on Nov 4, 2020.

Since its start, the TPLF forces fired rockets into both cities of Amhara region and across the border to Eritrea, which some dubbed an effort to speared the military operation beyond the region.

On Monday, TPLF forces fired rockets at Bahir Dar city for the third times since the operation started.

“So far, I didn’t hear of any casualties,” a hotel receptionist in the lakeside city where residents reported a pre-dawn rocket attack told Reuters. “I guess now we are accustomed to it and there wasn’t much panic.”