3 children killed, 10 people injured in reported Ethiopia airstrikes: UN

2021-10-19 22:55:55 GMT2021-10-20 06:55:55(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- It is calm but tense in and around Mekelle, Ethiopia, following two reported airstrikes that killed three children and injured 10 people, a UN spokesman said on Tuesday.

"Local health workers report that three children were killed and one person injured in an airstrike on the outskirts of Mekelle yesterday (Monday)," said Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

"A second airstrike in Mekelle town later in the day reportedly injured nine people and damaged houses and a nearby hotel," he told reporters at a regular briefing.

Haq called intensification of the conflict alarming and said the United Nations reminds all parties of their obligations under international humanitarian law to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure.

The spokesman was asked why the world organization describes the attacks as reported airstrikes so long after they allegedly occurred when UN personnel were present.

"We are relying on reports, including reports from people in Mekelle, but obviously we ... don't have air monitoring and so forth at our facilities in Mekelle and ... so we use the language that we use."

He also said the lack of essential supplies, especially fuel and cash, severely disrupts humanitarian operations in the embattled Tigray region. Mekelle is the capital of northernmost Tigray.

The spokesman said the United Nations calls for unrestricted and sustained humanitarian access to all people in need. Hundreds of humanitarian workers are in northern Ethiopia and ready to respond to existing and increasing needs wherever there are people in need. Enditem