Top officials of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) have been killed in an operation by Ethiopian forces, according to an announcement on Thursday.
Ethiopia’s defence force deployment department also said nine other TPLF leaders were arrested
Those killed include TPLF spokesperson Sekoture Getachew and Daniel Assefa, former Head of Tigray finance bureau.
In November, Ethiopia’s government issued arrest warrants for more than 60 senior leaders of the TPLF but the whereabouts of chairman Debrestion Gebremichael and many other TPLF leaders is unknown.
In mid-December, the Ethiopian army announced that it would offer a reward of around 200,000 euros for information on their location.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched a military operation against the northern Tigray region on November 4, after months of tensions between the central government and the TPLF.
The TPLF dominated Ethiopian politics for almost 30 years but since Abiy’s appointment in 2018, the party has been gradually marginalised.
After Abiy’s offensive, the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner installed a new administration in Tigray and declared the official end of the military operation at the end of November.
Since then, it has been difficult for the United Nations, journalists and humanitarian organisations to access Tigray.
It is believed thousands have been killed in the conflict while more than 50,000 people have fled to seek refuge in neighboring Sudan and more than 63,000 are displaced inside the region, according to the UN.