Forces refuse to leave Unesco world heritage town

Forces from Ethiopia’s Tigray region have rejected calls by the United States to leave neighbouring regions, a day after they seized a UN World Heritage site in Amhara state.

On Thursday, Tigrayan forces took control of the town of Lalibela, with its rock-hewn churches, which is of great importance to Ethiopia’s Orthodox Christians.

There were no reports of fighting, but some residents fled.

The United States appealed to the rebels to respect and protect Lalibela’s cultural heritage.

Tigrayan forces have been fighting Ethiopian government troops for months and the conflict has spread to other regions.

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