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Tigray forces killed several civilians in Kobo and Aradom: witnesses

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  • Nearly 12,000 newly displaced people, mainly women and children, taking refuge in schools in Mersa town

The Tigrayan fighters killed several civilians over two days in Kobo and Aradom towns, two towns they are controlling in the North Wollo zone of the Amhara region, local residents and witnesses told VOA’s Amharic service on Wednesday.

According to the residents and witnesses who escaped from the towns, the killings were carried out within hours after Tigray rebels said they were ready to participate in African Union (AU)-brokered peace talks with the government.

One man said Tigrayan fighters shot unarmed civilian men in Kebele 2 of Kobo town, killing one young man named Zinegnaw on the spot, and seriously wounding several others two days ago.  “One of them, named Yohannes  Tegenu was badly wounded, hit by two bullets in the head, and since there was no medical care, he would surely die.” Another woman was shot by pellets in the arm, the witnesses said. Another resident said he counted around 20 corpses in the nearby Aradom town and asserted that many other farmers were rounded up and shot after being designated as belonging to a militia unit.

The North Wollo Zone vice administrator, Gashaw Asmame told VOA that said his office is doing further investigation to get a full picture of the accusations committed by the TPLF forces in Kobo and Aradom. The TPLF didn’t respond to questions about the claims of killings. TPLF leaders in the past have denied that Tigrayan forces have killed civilians and committed wide-scale abuses in the areas they controlled.

Hostilities in the area continue to impact vulnerable people and the delivery of humanitarian assistance, said the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).  In parts of the Amhara region, fighting and insecurity displaced tens of thousands of people. “In Amhara region, an interagency needs assessment was conducted in Mersa town, North Wollo Zone, where nearly 12,000 newly displaced people, mainly women and children, are taking refuge in five schools. ,” the office said in the daily briefing of September 13. “Partners will start distributing food and non-food items, and have mobilized a mobile health and nutrition team to the town,” OCHA added.

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