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At least 600 killed and tens thousands forced to flee Ethiopia

At least 600 people have been killed in Mai Kadara massacre in Ethiopia, in the Tigray region, forcing tens of thousands to cross the Tekeze River and seek shelter in Sudan.

An estimated 30,000 refugees have decided to make this journey. 

“It took twelve days to get here,” said one relieved looking refugee. “We had to live in a forest, a forest, but now we have reached Sudan.”

Ethiopians seeking refuge in Sudan have described intense fighting in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region, where fatal battles between federal government troops and rebel forces have taken place. 

“The government wants to get rid of the Tigray people, so we fled. The people are living in conflict there,” Gowru Awara, an Ethiopian refugee in Sudan’s Gadarif state, told Al Jazeera.

“People have been slaughtered with knives. Pregnant women have had their bellies opened. The government is bombing civilians and killing us all.”

“They bombed with artillery, and the air force raided,” said Asmara Tefsay, a 31-year old mother.

On November 14, the Tigray regional government said it fired rockets at two airports in the neighbouring Amhara region, adding that such strikes would continue “unless the attacks against us stop.” On the 16th, hundreds of civilians were “hacked to death” in the town of Mai Kadra. 

Alsir Khaled, regional head of the Sudanese refugee agency reported that at least 21,000 Ethiopians crossed into eastern Sudan seeking help on Friday. 

“They keep on coming,” he told AFP, adding that many arrived from Humera, where some of the heaviest fighting has been reported.

The United Nations refugee agency says about 32,000 people have fled the Tigray region into neighbouring Sudan so far, and is anticipating up to 200,000 in the next six months.

Read more from Sky News, the Associated Press and Al Jazeera.

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