Reports cited witnesses in the northern city of Humera, near the border with Eritrea, as saying soldiers from Amhara province had been conducting a “door-to-door” search for ethnic Tigrayan people and that thousands of residents had been forced into makeshift detention centres.
The campaign of slaughter reportedly began in July following a decision by occupying soldiers to, the paper quoted an apparent witness as saying, “exterminate all Tigrayan residents in the city”.
“If it is written in your identity card that you are Tigrayan, there is no mercy,” another person said.
It is only the latest report of brutal attacks on civilians in Ethiopia’s civil war. The conflict began late last year when Abiy Ahmed, the prime minister, ordered troops into the region in an attempt to crush the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
Following decades of dominance, the TPLF had seen its power in government reduced after Mr Abiy became prime minister in 2018, and it withdrew its representatives from Addis Ababa entirely when he cancelled elections during the coronavirus pandemic – before holding its own polls.
Tensions that had simmered since Mr Abiy’s victory boiled over into all-out war once the sides each came to regard the other as illegitimate.
The UN’s human rights office said in March it had corroborated reports of mass killings in the Tigrayan city of Axum and Dengelat, a village, for which Eritrean soldiers allied to Mr Abiy had been blamed.
And last week several witnesses said they had seen Tigray forces attack a hospital and religious site in Amhara province, including with artillery. They killed civilians and looted medicine, the news agency reported.