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Tigray Concedes Shire's Loss


FILE: Survivors of an earlier air strike by Ethiopian government forces receive treatment at the Shire Shul General hospital in the town of Dedebit, northern region of Tigray, Ethiopia, Jan. 8, 2022.

UPDATED: Tigrayan forces conceded on Tuesday that they had lost control of the populous town of Shire to the Ethiopian military and their allies, urging Tigrayans to fight back.

The Tigray Central Command said Ethiopian and Eritrean forces had entered Shire, a strategic city of about 100,000 people northwest of the Tigrayan capital Mekele, on Monday.

Shire is one of the biggest towns in Tigray and hosts ten of thousands of people who were displaced from other areas by the conflict.

Tigrayan authorities said "The enemies are massacring our people with heavy weaponry/armaments in the areas it invades," calling the engagement a "life or death" struggle.

The action was confirmed by Addis Ababa, stating "The ENDF (Ethiopian National Defence Force) has taken control of the towns of Shire, Alamata and Korem without fighting in urban areas." Addis added that it would work with humanitarian agencies to provide aid to the areas now under army control and to ensure humanitarian access and the safety of humanitarian workers there.

Ethiopian Army Seizes Tigray Town of Shire
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Tigray and its six million people are virtually cut off from the outside world, facing dire shortages of fuel, food and medicines and lacking basic services, including communications and electricity.

An estimated two million people have been driven from their homes in northern Ethiopia and millions more are in need of aid, according to UN figures, with reports of widespread atrocities including massacres and rape.

The death toll remains unknown.

The African Union, the United Nations, the European Union and several senior U.S. government officials have all called in recent days for an immediate ceasefire and for peace talks sponsored by the African Union to get started.

The Europeans and Americans have called for a full withdrawal of Eritrean troops from Ethiopian territory.

The Europeans and Americans have called for a full withdrawal of Eritrean troops from Ethiopian territory.

This report was compiled from information by Reuters and Agence France-Presse.