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Several injured in airstrikes on Tigray capital, humanitarian source says

November 20, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Ethiopian refugees rest in Qadarif region, easter Sudan, Wednesday, Nov 18, 2020. The U.N. refugee agency says Ethiopia's growing conflict has resulted in thousands fleeing from the Tigray region into Sudan as fighting spilled beyond Ethiopia's borders and threatened to inflame the Horn of Africa region. (AP Photo/Marwan Ali)

Several people have been injured during airstrikes in Ethiopia's Tigray region, according to a humanitarian source with knowledge of the situation who spoke anonymously to CNN.

Nairobi (CNN)Several people have been injured during airstrikes in Ethiopia's Tigray region, according to a humanitarian source with knowledge of the situation who spoke anonymously to CNN.

Ethiopian federal forces have been at war with the regional government of Tigray, which borders Eritrea and Sudan, since the beginning of November, when Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced a military offensive including air strikes.

The conflict followed tension over Tigray's unilateral decision to elect a regional administration against Abiy's wishes.

There have since been "frequent bombings in the Tigray capital of Mekelle, including near a church and university," the humanitarian source told CNN, adding that scores of people have been killed and injured in the region.

It has previously denied bombing civilian areas and accused Tigray local forces of sheltering military equipment in schools, mosques and churches.

On Wednesday, Redwan Hussein, the government spokesperson for Ethiopa's state of emergency task force, told CNN that federal troops were closing in on Mekelle.

The humanitarian source also told CNN that tens of thousands have been displaced since the fighting began.

Aid groups operating in the region have also sounded the alarm of a growing humanitarian crisis and have been urgently calling for access to the region.

Tigray's ruling party, the TPLF, has refused to surrender and has previously accused federal forces of killing civilians -- a claim that the Ethiopian government denies.

The escalating conflict has drawn international calls for restraint as political analysts and diplomats warn that a slide into civil war could not only destabilize the country of 110 million people, but hurt the broader Horn of Africa region.

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