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Many of the marching Ethiopian soldiers who arrived at the jail appeared hungry and exhausted. Image courtesy: NYT

The leader of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front said that the forces of the region, located in northern Ethiopia, have released about 1,000 soldiers from the government forces they had captured during the recent fighting, as the two sides prepare for a confrontation over disputed lands in the west of the region.

The leader of the front, Debretsion Gebremichael, told Reuters by satellite phone late on Friday that they had released 1,000 low-ranking soldiers.

Debretsion Gebremichael added: “More than 5,000 soldiers are still with us and we will keep the senior officers who will be on trial.”

He said the released soldiers were taken to the southern Tigray border with the Amhara region on Friday, without saying who received them or how their release was negotiated.

No other party has confirmed the authenticity of this account from an independent source, as the Ethiopian army refused to comment on the matter, while the spokesperson for the local Amhara regional government said that he had no information about the release process.

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