BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:00 P.M.) – A government commission in Ethiopia said that the national army forces have taken control of the town of Idaga Hamos, 97 km from Mek’ele, the capital of the rebel-held Tigray region.
“Our defense forces have taken control of the town of Idaga Hamos on the road from Adigrat to Mek’ele. The defense forces are advancing to take control of Mek’ele, which is the ultimate goal of the operation,” the commission said on Twitter.
Earlier in the day, Debretsion Gebremichael, leader of the “Popular Front for the Liberation of Tigrayans” in Ethiopia, said on Sunday that the regional forces were standing firm in their fight against government forces on the southern front.
The leader of the rebel movement said, via text message, that the regional forces are clashing with government army units around the town of Adigrat in the north of the Tigray region.
For his part, Radwan Hussain, spokesman for the Ethiopian government’s task force on the situation in Tigray, said that the regional forces destroyed roads, blew up bridges and booby-trapped roads with explosives in the south of the province, but the federal forces are making progress.
Radwan added that some fighters from Tigrayans fled after government soldiers managed to take control of Adigrat on Saturday.
Reuters said it was not able to verify the allegations of both sides due to the scarcity of information about the developments in the fighting, as well as the difficulty of verifying what each side is saying due to the interruption of contact with telephone and Internet services since the start of the conflict.
The federal government in Ethiopia launched its military campaign in the region earlier this month, blaming the Popular Front for the Liberation of Tigrayans for attacking army military bases in the region.