Tigray forces say they 'completely destroy' Ethiopia's 21st mechanised division

Since the conflict erupted on Nov. 4, hundreds of people have been killed

  
An Ethiopian refugee fleeing from the ongoing fighting in Tigray region, is seen at the Um-Rakoba camp, on the Sudan-Ethiopia border, in the Al-Qadarif state, Sudan November 23, 2020.

An Ethiopian refugee fleeing from the ongoing fighting in Tigray region, is seen at the Um-Rakoba camp, on the Sudan-Ethiopia border, in the Al-Qadarif state, Sudan November 23, 2020.

Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

ADDIS ABABA/NAIROBI - Forces battling Ethiopia's federal government in the northern Tigray region "completely destroyed" the army's 21st mechanised division, a spokesman for the Tigray forces, Getachew Reda, said on Tuesday.

A government spokesman did not return calls seeking comment. Reuters has been unable to verify statements made by either side since phone and internet connections to the Tigray region are down and access to the area is strictly controlled.

Since the conflict erupted on Nov. 4, hundreds of people have been killed and about 40,000 have fled into neighbouring Sudan.

On Monday, the United States called for mediation between the Ethiopian federal government and the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF).

"The United States calls for mediation in #Ethiopia and supports the efforts led by @CyrilRamaphosa and the @_AfricanUnion to end this tragic conflict now," the U.S government's National Security Council said in a post on Twitter late on Monday.

(Writing by Omar Mohammed, Editing by Kim Coghill, Robert Birsel) ((katharine.houreld@thomsonreuters.com; + 254 796 142 176;))

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