Ethiopian army retakes town in Afar region from Tigray forces

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Ethiopian army retakes town in Afar region from Tigray forces

ADDIS ABABA – The Ethiopian army has recaptured the town of Chifra in the Afar region, state broadcaster reported on Sunday, its first major seizure by Tigrayan rebel forces since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed appeared on the front lines ago. two days.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Tigray (TPLF) seized Chifra, on the border between the northern Afar and Amhara regions, after fighting intensified last month between Ethiopian troops and military forces. loyal to the TPLF.

“The Ethiopian Defense Forces and Afar Special Forces have controlled Chifra,” the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation said on its Twitter account.

He did not give more details.

Reuters was unable to independently verify the report. Government spokesman Legesse Tulu and TPLF spokesman Getachew Reda did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Chifra is west of the town of Mille, which Tigrayan forces have been trying to capture for weeks as it lies along the highway connecting landlocked Ethiopia to Djibouti, the main port in the Horn of Africa. .

State-affiliated Fana Broadcasting reported on Friday that Abiy was on the front lines with the military fighting Tigray forces in Afar.

“The morale of the army is very exciting,” he said in remarks released Friday, promising to capture the town of Chifra “today”.

Thousands of civilians have been killed and millions displaced by the fighting since war broke out in Tigray last November.

Tigrayan forces were initially pushed back, but recaptured most of the region in July and pushed into neighboring areas of Amhara and Afar, displacing hundreds of thousands more.

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