Ethiopian troops and Tigray rebels have been engaged in heavy fighting near the symbolic town of Lalibela, eyewitnesses have told Ethiopia Observer. According to three eyewitnesses, the federal army had launched a ground offensive over the weeknd to gain control of the town of Lalibela and heavy gunfire could be heard throughout Monday. By Sunday, the federal army fighters had brought Lalibela under control but the airport, located 25km southwest of the city, was still the scene of heavy fighting, according to the sources.
The Tigray rebels took control of Lalibela and other Amahra region towns in early August. In the past two weeks a series of air and ground attacks by the federal army and the Amhara special forces have pushed the rebels back, helping the federal army to regain control of some strategic areas, including Sekota, located 130 kilometers north of Lalibela. The troops who departed from Sekota to Lalibela have reportedly experienced no form of counter-attack on the ground.