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People walk towards the Ayder referral hospital in Mekele, on June 24, 2021, two days after the deadly airstrike. Photo: YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP via Getty Images

Ethiopia's military on Thursday took responsibility for a deadly airstrike on a marketplace in the country's Tigray region that killed at least 64 people, including children, AP reports.

The big picture: The airstrike, one of the worst of the war started last November, comes as fighting persists in Tigray.

  • Ethiopians went to the polls on June 21 in what was being seen as a chance for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to gain democratic legitimacy and conduct the country's first free and fair election, Axios' Dave Lawler reports.

Driving the news: A military spokesman said supporters of the Tigray region’s former leaders had assembled to celebrate Martyrs’ Day when the airstrike occurred, per AP.

  • The strike wounded more than 100 people, at least half of them seriously.
  • The military insists only combatants were targeted, according to AP.

What they're saying: "It was very traumatizing,” one doctor, who eventually reached the market after Ethiopian soldiers blocked medical teams from responding to the attack, told AP. “I think most of the patients, they died because we were late there, because care wasn’t available.”

  • United Nations spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said Thursday that the U.N. has not been able to reach the scene. “Between the fighting and different groups on the ground we need clearance to go and we’ve just not been able to get it,”

Go deeper: Ethiopia holds a vital, flawed election

Go deeper

First lady Jill Biden speaks after Afghanistan attack

First lady Jill Biden. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

First lady Jill Biden released her first statement on the U.S. withdrawing from Afghanistan and Thursday's attack in Kabul Friday afternoon.

Why it matters: In her role as first lady, Biden has prioritized military-focused initiatives. She said the attack in Kabul, which killed at least 13 U.S. troops, "left us with the stinging reality of the ultimate sacrifice you are willing to make."

Biden says presidency "will be determined" by outcome of spending plans

President Biden walks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after addressing the House Democratic caucus on Thursday. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden told the House Democratic caucus Thursday "my presidency will be determined" by the votes he wants in the next week on his $1.75 trillion social safety net expansion and $1.2 trillion infrastructure package.

Driving the news: Biden made the comment, according to a source in the room, as he tried to rally support for the $1.75 trillion package. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi acted immediately, calling for a vote on the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill later in the day.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
39 mins ago - Energy & Environment

China declines to speed emissions cuts in new UN pledge

A view of the skyscrapers in the haze in Shanghai, China, in December 2020. Photo: Feature China/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Chinese leaders are sticking with a prior target to bring the country's carbon emissions to a peak before 2030, according to documents filed with the United Nations Thursday under the Paris climate agreement.

Why it matters: The new documents come just days ahead of the UN climate summit (COP26) in Glasgow. China is by far the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter, and its emissions path is key to whether the temperature-limiting goals of the Paris agreement can remain within reach.

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