Reports of the mass killing of civilians in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region “would amount towar crimes” if confirmed, the UN human rights chief has warned.
Michelle Bachelet called for an inquiry into reports that scores and maybe hundreds of people had been stabbed and hacked to death inone town.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has accused forces loyal to Tigray’s leadersof the massacre.
Its officials have denied involvement.
Tigray leader Debretsion Gebremichael told AFP news agency that the accusations were “baseless.”
Mr Abiy said that fighters backing Tigray’s ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), went on the rampage after federal troops had “liberated” the western part of Tigray, “brutally” killing innocent civilians in Mai-Kadra, a town in the South West Zone of Tigray.
Witnesses blamed forces loyal to TPLF for Monday’s killings – first reported by human rights group Amnesty International.
If confirmed, this would be the first large-scale killing of civilians in the fighting between government forces and the TPLF which broke out on 4 November.
Getting information about the clashes is hard because phone lines and internet services are down.