Reports of mass killing in Ethiopia conflict

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is accusing his foes of atrocities, after a week of bloodshed in the country's Tigray region.

The statement also came as Amnesty International, in a separate report, said a mass killing may have hit hundreds of civilians there - stabbed and hacked to death.

The rights group said it couldn't independently confirm who was responsibile, but that witnesses blamed fighters loyal to Tigray's local leaders.

Airstrikes and ground combat between government forces and the Tigray People's Liberation Front or TPLF have sent refugees flooding into neighboring Sudan.

Hundreds have turned out for a government-run blood drive for the wounded.

Abiy is claiming victory over his opponent's in Tigray's west, but the status of the rest of the region is not clear.

With communications down and media barred, Reuters was not able to confirm either side's version of events or Amnesty's reports.

The TPLF says their forces were not involved with the alleged mass killing.

Abiy launched a military offensive in Tigray last week after accusing regional forces of attacking a federal military base.

Tigrayans say he has systematically persecuted them since taking office in April 2018.

And on Friday, an internal United Nations report seen by Reuters said that Ethiopian police had visited a World Food Programme office requesting a list of all ethnic Tigrayan staff.

In an effort to tighten its grip, Ethiopia's parliament has also now appointed a new regional president in Tigray and accused the former leader and other officials of treason, armed rebellion, and terrorism.

Meanwhile, the African Union has dismissed its security chief, who was an Ethiopian national, after Abiy's government accused him of disloyalty.