The rebel authorities in Tigray say they have withdrawn their troops from areas they occupied in the neighbouring Amhara region to the south to face a joint offensive by Ethiopian and Eritrean forces further north.
After a five-month truce, fighting resumed at the end of August between the Ethiopian federal government - backed by forces and militias from the Amhara region - and the Tigrayan rebels.
The Asmara regime, a sworn enemy of the Tigray rebel leaders, is also lending a hand to the Ethiopian troops, as it did during the first phase of the conflict, which began in November 2020, during which Eritrean troops were accused of multiple cases of abuse.
"A change in the location and direction (of our forces) was deemed necessary to deal with the joint invasion forces... On the southern front, we have therefore evacuated the areas of the Amhara region where we had entered," said the "central command" of the rebel forces in Tigray in a statement issued late Sunday.
The decision was implemented over the past three days, it said, assuring that "although the enemy has multiplied attempts to control this front, it has not succeeded in changing the situation and has only aggravated its defeat.
The fighting areas are closed to journalists and it was not immediately possible to independently verify the claims of the Tigrayan rebels.