Fears of a worsening internal conflict in Ethiopia have been heightened as Tigray forces fired rockets into the neighbouring Amhara State.
The attack came a day after the federal government said that its forces were closing in on the rebel region’s capital.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed declared a military campaign in the Tigray region on 4th November after accusing the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) of defying his government and seeking to destabilise it.
Hundreds of people have been reported killed in the conflict with tens of thousands of people fleeing into Sudan. Abiy said the military operation was in its final phase.
“Our defence forces are moving forward and closing in on Mekele,” said Redwan Hussein, the spokesman for an Ethiopian committee handling the conflict.
The government on Friday, 20th November, claimed to have captured a string of towns in Tigray but a communications blackout in the region made such claims difficult to verify.
According to an official in the Amhara State, TPL forces fired rockets at its regional capital, Bahir Dar, early on Friday morning.
Last week, TPLF fired rockets at Asmara, the capital of Eritrea, as it accuses it of backing the Ethiopian advance. Both Ethiopia and Eritrea have denied the allegations.
Gizachew Muluneh, an Amhara communications official, said that the three TPLF rockets missed their target, resulting in neither damage nor casualties as two rockets hit near the airport as the third a maize field.
Tigray President Debretsion Gebremichael told AFP that the rocket strike aimed at Bahir Dar Airport was in retaliation for that attack.
There was no immediate response from the government in Addis Ababa, which has insisted that all its air strikes are aimed at military targets.