REPORT: Drone Strike Kills 17 People On Same Day Biden Speaks With African Leader

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Harry Wilmerding Contributor
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A drone strike in Ethiopia killed 17 people Monday, the same day President Joe Biden spoke with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed over the phone, the Associated Press reported.

The majority of the victims were women working at a flour-grinding mill near Mai Tsebri, according to the AP. Drone strikes have been reported almost daily in the Tigray region, with an attack killing at least 57 people over the weekend.

Biden spoke with Ethiopia’s prime minister Monday about the country’s war against Tigray forces, and he commended Abiy for releasing political prisoners, the AP reported.

Biden and Abiy spoke about how the strikes continue to cause civilian deaths and suffering in Africa’s second most populous country, according to the AP. (RELATED: ‘Martyrdom Is Needed’: Prime Minister Reportedly Heads To Battlefront For War In One Of Most Populous Countries)

The two leaders “discussed ways to accelerate dialogue toward a negotiated ceasefire, the urgency of improving humanitarian access across Ethiopia, and the need to address the human rights concerns of all affected Ethiopians, including concerns about detentions of Ethiopians under the state of emergency,” the White House said in a statement.

Abiy described the phone call as “candid” on Twitter, saying “we both agree there is great value in strengthening our cooperation through constructive engagement founded on mutual respect.”

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