According to reports from some international press sources (https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/eritrean-troops-shell-town-north-ethiopia-un-2022-05-31/), citing local and UN sources, during the night of May 28-29, Eritrea’s armed forces reportedly repeatedly hit with artillery the town of Shiraro in northern Ethiopia’s Tigray regional state.

According to the same sources, a school building where several families displaced by the conflict were housed was also hit in the attack, resulting in the death of a 14-year-old girl and the wounding of 18 others.

The attack was reportedly denounced by Tigray’s ruling party, the TPLF, and confirmed by UN sources reported by the Reuters news agency. According to the TPLF, moreover, the scale of the clashes was reportedly larger, extending over two days, resulting in the deaths of four senior officers and more than 300 Eritrean soldiers. In a Twitter message circulated on May 30, TPLF President’s adviser Getachew Reda accused Eritrean forces from the 57th and 21st Divisions of launching a large-scale attack along the border between the two countries, being pushed back into the Adi Awalla area, about 10 km from the border line, in Tigrinya territory.

The news was not confirmed by Eritrea, while Ethiopian federal government sources accused the TPLF authorities of provoking the clashes, although they admitted that they were not aware of the details of the fighting and denied that the Eritrean authorities intended to launch an offensive in the region. According to the federal government’s minister of communication services in Addis Ababa, Legesse Tulu, TPLF forces reportedly suffered heavy casualties in the fighting (https://addisstandard.com/news-tigray-reports-fresh-conflict-with-eritrean-forces-fed-gov-accuses-tigrayan-forces-of-provoking/).

The news of the clashes follows by several weeks that of the possibility of a Tigrinya offensive against the Eritrean capital, Asmara, circulated within diplomatic circles and indirectly confirmed by Eritrea’s Minister of Information, Yemane Meskel, according to whom the TPLF has been preparing new military attacks for some time (https://www.agenzianova.com/news/etiopia-portavoce-tplf-respinta-loffensiva-delle-forze-eritree-nel-nord-del-tigre/).

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