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Airstrike kills dozens in Tigray region of Ethiopia

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali attends the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony at City Hall in Oslo, Norway, on December 10, 2019. His government is accused of conducting an airstrike on a village in Tigray Tuesday. File Photo by Rune Hellestad/ UPI
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali attends the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony at City Hall in Oslo, Norway, on December 10, 2019. His government is accused of conducting an airstrike on a village in Tigray Tuesday. File Photo by Rune Hellestad/ UPI | License Photo

June 23 (UPI) -- An airstrike on a crowded market in northern Ethiopia on Tuesday killed at least 80 people and injured 43 others, the United Nations and witnesses said.

The attack happened in Togoga, roughly 15 miles northwest of the Tigray capital of Mekelle. The explosion occurred while votes are being counted in parliamentary elections there.

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Ongoing fighting in Tigray, which started last November between the government and Tigray political rivals to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, has forced more than 2 million from their homes and killed thousands, along with sparking famine fears.

Doctors at a Mekelle hospital said they are treating dozens of people from the airstrike, including a 2-year-old child.

The Ethiopian government has denied conducting an airstrike in the region.

"We never carried out an airstrike on the marketplace," a government spokeswoman said, according to BBC News. "How is this possible? The army is capable of accurately hitting its targets. We conducted airstrikes, but only on certain targets."

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