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Ethiopia: Locals say many casualties after Tigray airstrike

The Ethiopian army took control of Mekelle last November after ousting the rebel Tigray People's Liberation Front, but fighting in the region has persisted   -  
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Ethiopia

Dozens of people were wounded or killed in an airstrike on a market in the town of Togoga in Ethiopia's conflict-hit Tigray region, witnesses told AFP Wednesday.

"There were lots of injured people and dead people," said 20-year-old survivor Birhan Gebrehiwet, whose house next to the market was destroyed by Tuesday's blast.

"We were stepping on them and in their blood," she added.

Birhan said she was selling drinks around lunchtime when the attack happened. "I am sure it came from the air," she added.

An emergency worker at a hospital in the regional capital Mekele, 30 kilometres away, said six wounded people had so far been admitted -- including three young children -- but that soldiers were preventing others from leaving Togoga.

"There are 45 injured people who are denied access, they risk death," said the emergency worker.

There's been no comment from Addis Ababa on the accusations.

An ambulance driver said he was also being prevented from driving to Togoga.

"I tried to leave Mekele four times today to try and help people, but the soldiers are not letting us go," he said.

The Ethiopian army took control of Mekelle last November after ousting the rebel Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), but fighting in the region has persisted.

Relatives of one man who was seriously wounded in the attack said he had witnessed two explosions, both fired from aircraft.

On Monday, elections were held across much of Ethiopia but there were no polls in Tigray because of the ongoing conflict.

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