Addis Ababa, 26 November (efe-epa) - Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed confirmed on Thursday that he ordered defence forces to take control the capital of the northern region of Tigray.

Ahmed has been conducting an armed offensive for three weeks against the region, and unsuccessfully issued them a 72-hour deadline to surrender.

"The Ethiopian Defence Forces have now been directed to conclude the third and final phase of our rule of law operations," Ahmed detailed Thursday in a statement from his office, in which he also promised that "great care will be given to protect innocent civilians from harm." EFE-EPA