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Tigray passengers say they were blocked from flying

Passengers in the capital of northern Ethiopia’s Tigray province, Mekelle, have told the BBC that they were restricted from flying to the federal capital, Addis Ababa.

The passengers have alleged police at the city’s airport have barred anyone between the ages of 16 and 64 from boarding flights, without explanation, unless they are traveling for medical reasons.

A federal police spokesperson said he was unaware of the allegations while a senior official at Ethiopian Airlines, the national carrier, told the BBC that the airline does not discriminate against travellers.

Much of Tigray had been sealed off from the outside world for more than a year and a half before the deal was agreed in November in South Africa.

Basic services including electricity, phone lines and flights are slowly returning to the region.