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The United Nations has condemned an air strike conducted by the Ethiopian government that hit a kindergarten, resulting in fatalities.
In a statement, UNICEF executive director Catherine Russel said “UNICEF strongly condemns the air strike in Mekelle, the capital city of the Tigray Region. The strike hit a kindergarten, killing several children, and injuring others. UNICEF calls on all parties to agree to an immediate cessation of hostilities. For almost two years, children and their families in the region have endured the agony of this conflict. It must end.”
Tigray officials have released a statement calling the air strike “a heartless and sadistic assault on our people. This vicious regime has outdone itself with today’s deliberate targeting of a children’s building. As we issue this statement, the mutilated bodies of the slain innocent children could be seen lying on the premises of the playground as well as sidewalks.”
Despite condemnation from the United Nations, the Ethiopian government has denied allegations that their air force hit a kindergarten. The government released a brief statement acknowledging they conducted airstrikes in the region but said no school was targeted, only rebel outposts. The government accused the Tigray People’s Liberation Front Forces of purposely staging civilian deaths.