Ethiopian military: We will use tanks, artillery to capture Tigray capital Mekelle

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The Ethiopian military plans to use tanks to encircle Mekelle, the capital of northern Tigray region, and is warning civilians it may also use artillery on the city, state media reported on Sunday.

“The next phases are the decisive part of the operation, which is to encircle Mekelle using tanks, finishing the battle on mountainous areas and advancing to the fields,” Colonel Dejene Tsegaye, a military spokesman, told the state-run Ethiopia Broadcasting Corporation.

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The military is fighting Tigrayan rebels in the region.

Ethiopia's government has denied that talks on the growing conflict in its northern Tigray region were imminent, just hours after three African former presidents were named to help mediate the two-week-old crisis.

Assertions on all sides have been difficult to verify because internet and phone links to the region have been down since the conflict broke out on November 4.

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