At Least Seven People Killed, Including Several Children, After Ethiopian Government Airstrike Hits Kindergarten in Tigray

A still image taken from a video, showing destruction at a playground in Mekelle, the capital of Ethiopia’s Tigray region, on Friday. (Credit…Tigrai TV, via Reuters)

An Ethiopian government airstrike ripped through a kindergarten in the northern Tigray region on Friday, killing at least seven people including several children, medics said, as the hunger-stricken region plunged into a new round of fighting.

The attack came two days after fighting erupted on the southeastern border of Tigray, shattering a five-month truce between the government and rebels intended to allow supplies into a region that has been under a punishing government-imposed siege for most of the past year.

Dire food shortages have left nearly half of Tigray’s six million people on the verge of starvation, according to the United Nations, and supplies of medicine, fuel and cash are disastrously low.

Fears that the latest fighting, which each side accused the other of starting, would quickly spread across Tigray grew on Friday after the airstrike demolished a kindergarten in the regional capital, Mekelle, just after midday.

Footage broadcast on a local TV station showed rescuers picking through the rainbow-colored remains of the kindergarten, searching for survivors. In one clip, the body of a small boy with a gaping chest wound was loaded into the back of a truck. Ambulances rushed to the city’s main hospital, Ayder Referral.

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SOURCE: The New York Times, Declan Walsh