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800 Ethiopians Killed in Tigray Battle at Church Holding ‘Ark of The Covenant’ - Report
By Staff, Agencies
At least 800 people were killed in a battle in Ethiopia's restive region of Tigray defending a church that local Christians believe to hold the sacred Ark of the Covenant, the Sunday Times reported over the weekend.
The massive skirmish in the holy city of Axum took place in autumn 2020, but as the area remains under an effective blackout, it takes time for information to get out.
In Axum, Ethiopian soldiers were facing off with the rebels affiliated with the Tigray People's Liberation Front, a left-wing movement fighting for the region's independence since 2020.
“When people heard the shooting, they ran to the church to give support to the priests and others who were there protecting the ark,” Getu Mak, a local academic, told the Times.
The Associated Press cited a local deacon as saying that he helped with counting and identifying the bodies.
Fighting in Tigray began in late 2020, with thousands left displaced and reports of Eritrean involvement from across the border.
Both sides have been accused of violations that may amount to war crimes.
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