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Ethiopian government says its forces have taken town around 100 km from Tigray capital

FILE PHOTO: Redwan Hussein, State Minister for Foreign Affairs and spokesperson for the newly established State of Emergency task force, and Mulu Nega, Chief Executive of the Provisional Administration of Tigray National Regional State, attend a news conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia November 19, 2020. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Ethiopian forces have taken the town of Idaga Hamus, 97 km (60 miles) from the rebel-held Tigray capital Mekelle, a government taskforce said on Sunday.

“Our defence force took control of Idaga Hamus town which is located on the road from Adigrat to Mekelle. The Defence force is advancing to capture Mekelle, which is the final goal of the operation,” the taskforce said in a tweet.

Reuters could not verify the latest statement. Claims by all sides are hard to verify because phone and internet communication has been down since fighting began on Nov. 4.

Tigray forces were not immediately available for comment.

Writing by Katharine Houreld; Editing by Frances Kerry