NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) – The U.S. embassy in Eritrea said six explosions were heard Saturday night in the capital, Asmara. This follows an embassy report that was another “loud noise, possibly an explosion” in the city on Friday, almost two weeks after the government of the defiant Tigray region of neighboring Ethiopia fired rockets at the city. during the war with Ethiopian federal forces.
The latest explosions came a few hours after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed declared victory in his government’s fighting. against the forces of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front bordering Eritrea in the northern Tigray region. The military says the regional capital, Mekele, is “under full control,” but the government says TPLF leaders are still on the run.
The head of the TPLF earlier this month claimed that Eritrean forces had been involved in the fighting in Tigray at the invitation of the Ethiopian government, which Addis Ababa had repeatedly denied. Fears have risen that 96,000 Eritrean refugees are at risk in camps near the Ethiopian border.
The United States has accused the TPLF of trying to “internationalize” the deadly conflict in which hundreds of people, including civilians, have been killed, according to humanitarian figures.
The U.S. Embassy’s overnight statement advises U.S. citizens to be vigilant and aware of “conflicts in the Tigray region”. He also advises citizens to “watch the local news” in a country where the guards do not have a very repressive and independent media.
The struggle threatened to destabilize Ethiopia, known as a strategic element in the Horn of Africa, and its neighbors. Food, fuel, cash and medical supplies were desperately low. Nearly 1 million people have been forced to flee their homes, including more than 40,000 who have fled to Sudan. Camps hosting 96,000 Eritrean refugees in northern Tigray were on fire.