The Ethiopian National Defense Force announced late Thursday that it had killed top officials of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
They included TPLF spokesperson Sekoture Getachew and Daniel Assefa, the former head of the Tigray Finance Bureau.
Zeray Asgedom and Abebe Asgedom, two other core members of the TPLF, were also killed during the military operation.
In a statement, the head of the Defense Forces Deployment Department, General Tesfaye Ayalew, confirmed the deaths, saying that in addition, nine other TPLF leaders were arrested following a joint operation conducted by his army and federal security organs.
Ayalew did not disclose when and where the four core leaders were killed.
The other nine members who were arrested include Teklewoini Assefa, former CEO of the Relief Society of Tigray (REST), Solomon Kidane, the former head of the Tigray Urban Development Bureau, Gebremedhin Tewolde, the former head of the Tigray Trade Bureau, and Woldegiorgis Desta, the former head of the Tigray Transport Bureau.
Others include Abadi Zemo, former Ethiopian Ambassador to Sudan, Kidusan Nega, the former speaker of the Tigray Regional State Council, Tedros Hagos, the former president of the Meles Leadership Academy, Mihret Teklay, legal advisor of the Tigray Regional State Council, and Berhane Adem Mohammed, a property and procurement business process owner.
An unspecified number of soldiers were killed last year and a sizable amount of military hardware had been looted by TPLF forces, prompting the government to launch a massive law enforcement operation.
On Nov. 28, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed declared the operation, saying what remained was apprehending the TPLF leadership and their militants, reconstruction and rehabilitation in the restive region, and putting in place the structures of an interim administration for Tigray.