Fighting continues in and around Lalibela town

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  • Tigray rebel forces pushed out of Adi Arkay

Intense fighting has been reported along several fronts in and around the town of Lalibela on Friday, in a bid to recapture the tourist town, seized by the rebel forces from the Tigray region on August 5.

The Amhara Special Forces were joined by the federal army that converged from multiple directions to recapture dozens of towns and villages in the area as part of the campaign, several sources told Ethiopia Observer.

In the town of Lalibela, residents reported clashes on Friday, August 6 but there was no information on casualties. Access to the internet has been cut off since early Friday in the area.

The battle has raised fears of a humanitarian catastrophe and the safety of the famed rock-hewn churches and ancient manuscripts.

On Thursday morning, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) fighters entered Lalibela with no resistance, as thousands of the Amhara Special Forces, based around Nakutelab monastery withdrew ahead of their advance. Outside Lalibela, Tigray rebels have been stationed in Gashena, about 60 kilometers south of Lalibela, and have occasionally been attacked by the local militias, according to reports.

At Adi Arkay, north Gondar zone, in the northwest of the country, Tigray rebels have been trying to capture Adi Arkay and strategic points surrounding it but they were pushed through the urgent mobilization of forces, residents of the town told Ethiopia Observer.

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