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Ethiopia says former foreign minister killed by military after refusing to surrender

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Ethiopia said on Wednesday that its military had killed three members of the former ruling party in the Tigray region, including former Ethiopian Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin.

The three Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) officials were killed and five other party members were captured after refusing to surrender to the military, the government task force for the Tigray crisis said on Twitter.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government declared victory in its conflict with the TPLF on November 28 last year after nearly a month of struggle.

Volatile leaders of the TPLF had promised to continue fighting from the mountains of the region of northern Ethiopia, but Reuters has not been able to contact them for several weeks.

The military said last week it had captured Sebhat Nega, a founding member of the TPLF.

Over the weekend, it said it had killed 1

5 members of the TPLF and captured eight others, according to state television.

Seyoum was Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister from 1991 to 2010.

Airstrikes and blows since early November in Tigray are believed to have killed thousands of people. The fighting continues in some parts and more than 2 million people need help, the UN said this week.

Reuters has not been able to verify claims from both sides as telephone and internet connections to the Tigray region are down and access to the area is strictly controlled.

(Reporting on the Nairobi Newsroom, Writing by Maggie Fick, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

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