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Beriha, 15, was shot in the face by a sniper.

A mass grave of civilians in Tigray

Casualties of the Tigray War refers to civilian and military deaths and injuries in the Tigray War that started in November 2020, in which rape and other sexual violence are also widespread.[1][2][3] Claims of civilian deaths range from zero civilians killed in the late November Mekelle offensive, according to Ethiopian prime minister Abiy Ahmed on 30 November 2020 parliamentary statement,[4] to a minimum estimate of at least 52,000 civilians killed by the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF), the Eritrean Defence Forces (EDF), Amhara militias, and other forces allied with the ENDF as of early February 2021, according to Tigrayan opposition political parties.[5] On 16 February 2021, Getachew Reda of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) estimated that 100,000 soldiers had died in the Tigray War,[6] while the Ethiopian government claims that 1,245 Ethiopian soldiers died in the Tigray war (although the casualties of the Ethiopian army were reported higher than that, reaching nearly 2,000 dead) and 2 aircraft belonging to the Ethiopian Air Force were destroyed not to mention the Ethiopian economic losses itself.[7]

Total deaths

Sources Civilians TPLF ENDF/EDF Total Time period
Abiy Ahmed and ENDF[8][9] 0 550 32 582 4 November 2020 – 9 February 2021; 4–11 November 2021
Tigray opposition parties[5] Lower estimate of at least 52,000 Lower estimate of at least 52,000 4 November 2020 – 2 February 2021
TPLF[10][11] 224 224 30 December 2020 – 5 January 2021
100,000[12] 4 November 2020 – 16 February 2021
Other sources[13] 2,316 – 2,886 2,408 – 2,979 9 November 2020 – 10 January 2021

Civilian deaths

Mass graves in Maikadra and funeral services

As of 2 February 2021 (2021-02-02), the highest estimate of civilian deaths in the Tigray War is that stated by three of the opposition parties of the 2020 Tigray regional election, National Congress of Great Tigray, Tigray Independence Party and Salsay Woyane Tigray, who were allocated 15 seats in September 2020, prior to the war.[14] The three parties' February 2021 statement (published 2 February) estimated that at least 52,000 civilians had been killed by the ENDF, the Eritrean Defence Forces (EDF), Amhara militias, and other forces allied with the ENDF.[5] Hailu Kebede, head of foreign affairs in Salsay Woyane Tigray, stated that the three parties' data collection method was to try to register data from witnesses in every administrative area in Tigray Region. He stated that "thousands" of names were already recorded.[8]

On 8 October 2021, the Ethiopian Air Force conducted two airstrikes on Mekelle, the capital of the Tigray Region.[15] Three children were killed and nine other civilians were injured.[15]

Murders and massacres

One of the civilian victims of the Togoga airstrike

Multiple reports were made of extrajudicial and summary executions of civilians starting in November during the Tigray War.[16][17] Typical massacres committed by Ethiopian and Eritrean soldiers in the Tigray war were (1) revenge when they lose a battle; (2) to terrorise and extract information about whereabouts of TPLF leaders; (3) murder of suspected family members of TDF fighters; and (4) terrorising the Tigray society as a whole such as in case of mass killings in churches.[18]

Killings of civilians in the Tigray War
Date Place Number Perpetrators Sources Notes
4-10 November 2020 Shiglil 7 Government-allied militias [19]
9-10 November 2020 Humera 54 ENDF, Amhara militia, Fano [20][21][22] related: EHRC report[13]
5-19 November 2020 Dansha 25 [13] Civilians were caught in the crossfire between warring parties
9–10 November 2020 Mai Kadra 600[16] or 1100[17] Samri kebele youths[23][16][17] or Amhara militias[24][25][26] victim ethnicity and perpetrators disputed
13-17 November 2020 Zalambessa 86 EDF [27] Killed mostly in house-to-house searches after shelling the town
14–17 November 2020 Bisober 27-31 TPLF & ENDF [13][28][29] Shelling crossfire and house-to-house search
17 November 2020 Shire 200 EDF [30] Elders say people were "slaughtered like chicken"
c. 19 November 2020 Hitsats 305 TPLF[31][32] or EDF[33][34][35][32] Perpetrators disputed. EEPA claims 300 Eritrean refugees executed by EDF, HRW claims EDF, refugees claim local Tigrayan militia or EDF, Ethiopia claims TPLF; five humanitarian workers killed in battle[36][37][38]
21 November 2020 Idaga Hamus Dozens EDF [39] after capture of town
c. 21 November 2020 Adigrat 12 EDF [39][40] after capture of town
27-28 November 2020 Wukro 220 EDF, ENDF [41] killing spree accompanying the massive looting of the town
28–29 November 2020 Aksum 750 EDF initial body counts;[42][43] in-depth[44][45] Daily killings preceded and followed the main massacre.
30 November 2020 Dengelat 80–150 EDF [46][47] at Maryam Dengelat church
late November/early December 2020 Irob 52 [48] 50 men, 2 women
1 December 2020 Mekelle 27 ENDF [49]
4–7 December 2020 Ziban Gedena 150-300 EDF [50] Also: 150 houses burnt, 90% of livestock killed, harvests burnt and stolen
13 December 2020 Kola Tembien 20 ENDF [51] Soldiers kept terrorising civilians in Tembien in an effort to get the location of the leader of the TPLF.
c. 23 December 2020 Hawzen up to 70 EDF [52] 70 bodies recognised by witness
5 January 2021 Gu'itelo 29 EDF [53] at Medhane-Alem church
8 January 2021 Bora 70–187 ENDF [54][55]:31 Killing spree after a battle with TDF
9 January 2021 Ari Giyergis 12 ENDF [56] 12 young deacons taken out of the church and executed
mid-January 2021 Mahbere Dego 50–74 ENDF (Amharic speaking) [57][58] People were executed and thrown off a cliff, according to geolocated video evidence.
January 2021 Irob 30 Coptic priests, 100 children, 50 women ENDF, EDF (50 women) [59]
1 February 2021 Kerebera 5 ENDF & EDF [56] five priests were killed in the village church
10 February 2021 Wukro 18 EDF [60] killed in street protests
10 February 2021 Kola Tembien 182 ENDF, EDF [61] house-to-house killing; access to bodies permitted on 15 Feb, by which time many were partially eaten by wildlife
few days before 14 February 2021 Adwa + Shire 30 [60] killed in street protests
15 Feb Cheli 180 EDF [62]
c. 19 February 2021 Khisret, Gijet 100+ ENDF [63]
22 February 2021 Debrekerbe 9 EDF [64]
23 February 2021 May Weyni 80 EDF [62]
1-3 March 2021 Humera 250 Amhara militia, Fano, EDF [65]
11 March 2021 Enkikumel, near Shire 100+ ENDF/EDF [66][67] Reports suggest that ENDF/EDF soldiers went door to door and kidnapped civilians in order to force militias to give up their weapons and surrender. Once the militias surrendered, they and the remaining hostages were all executed. All victims were reportedly young men.
14 March 2021 Wukro 3-5 ENDF [68] retaliation for attacks by TDF
23 March 2021 Inda Teka Tesfay between Mekelle and Adigrat 4 ENDF [69] Médecins Sans Frontières staff observed the execution of at least four men by the ENDF. They were taken off a public bus and executed.
24 March 2021 Grizana, near Samre 11-18 EDF [70][71]
30 March - 5 April 2021 Wukro Maray c. 161 EDF & ENDF [72] As revenge for lost battles
1 or 3 April 2021 May Atsmi, Tisha and Haddush Addi, Tahtay Maychew district around 140 EDF [72] As revenge for lost battles
5 April 2021 Debrekerbe in Zana district 116 EDF [64]
(5 April 2021) (Haruka kebele, Afar Region) (30+) (Somali Regional State special forces) [73]
8 April 2021 Freweyni 7 EDF [72]
8 April 2021 Hawzen 30+ EDF [72]
8 April 2021 Around Wukro Maray, between Shire and Axum 200+ ENDF and EDF [72]
12 April 2021 Adwa, Central Tigray 3–9 EDF [74][75]
12 April 2021 village near Axum 11 presumably EDF [76]
12 April 2021 Hugumburda, Southern Tigray 15 Amhara militias and ENDF [76]
c. 12 April 2021 Wukro Maray town near Aksum 300+ EDF [76]
29 April 2021 Idaga Hibret 20 EDF [77]
30 April 2021 (Bure, Amhara and Danchu Kebelle) 21 unknown [77] During the attacks, some civilians had reportedly been burnt alive.
8 May 2021 Guh village, Hawzien, Eastern Tigray 19 EDF [78][79]
12 June 2021 Menji and Guyya villages near the town of

Abi-Adi Tembien.

16 EDF and ENDF [80] Reports indicate that cluster bombs and phosphorus gas was used in the shelling of both villages.
22 June 2021 Togoga village 50-80 ENDF [81] 50-80 civilians were killed in an airstrike on the village's market area. Reports indicate that the ENDF blocked ambulances from attending to the dead and wounded in the village, possibly increasing the casualty toll.
11 July 2021 Wereta 3 Amhara fano (militia) and mob [82] Killed in revenge for the defeat of the Wereta militia in Fiyelwiha (Tigray)
17-19 July 2021 Yalo 20 TDF or ENDF [83] Victims of shelling
~3 August 2021 Humera and elsewhere along the Tekezé River 95 Amhara militia, Fano, EDF [84] The victims had been shot with their hands tied
5 August 2021 Galikoma, Afar Region 107-200 TDF [85][86][87] Indiscriminate killing by TDF
15 August 2021 Humera and along the Tekezé River c.150 ENDF or Amhara militias [88] Bodies in the Tekezé River were found with their hands bound and fatal gunshot wounds.
31 August–4 September 2021 Chenna (near Dabat) 120-200 TDF [89][90][91] Extrajudicial killings; Using civilians as human shields
9 September 2021 Kobo, Ethiopia 600 TDF [92][93][94][91] Extrajudicial killings

Military deaths

Samwarit, 4, lies on her hospital bed recovering from knife wounds in her leg and a gunshot in her hand, according to her father, in Mekelle, Tigray, June 4, 2021.

2020

An ENDF soldier present at the attack on the Adigrat base of the ENDF Northern Command during the 4 November Northern Command attacks, Bulcha, stated to BBC News that there were 32 ENDF fatalities and 100 TPLF fatalities.[9]

Based on its 14–18 November 2020 visit and a visit starting 10 January 2021 to the Tigray Region, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) reported a Humera hospital employee's count of the war deaths as 92, including military (ENDF and TPLF) and civilian deaths.[13]

An estimated 760 troops (ENDF and TPLF) were killed during fighting in the Raya region.[95]

The TPLF claimed on 24 November to have killed thousands of ENDF and Eritrean in three fronts: Adwa, Idagahamus and Ray-Mokoni. They also claimed to have killed almost an entire Ethiopian division during fighting at Raya.[96] This division is the 21st mechanised division.[97]

On 7 December 2020 heavy fighting broke out between AMISOM troops and Ethiopian troops in Hiran region, Somalia, when Ethiopian troops tried to disarm Tigrayan troops. In total 21 Tigrayan soldiers and 20 Ethiopian soldiers were killed.[98]

References

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