News agency AFP writes that TPLF guerrillas captured Lalibela without a fight.
A resident says there were no government forces in the city when the rebels arrived.
– DPLF came only in the afternoon. Another resident says it was dancing in a square in the city.
An eyewitness says that most of the Witnesses left the city and traveled to the countryside.
The news agency spoke by phone with Chef, one of Reuters residents. He says local forces cooperating with the government fled Wednesday night before the rebels arrived on Friday.
We were told to stay or at least give us their Kalashnikovs, but they refused and took five ambulances, several trucks and cars and fled, says Safu.
Lalibela is located in the Amhara region of northern Ethiopia. Amhara is a neighbor of Tigray, where fighting between insurgents and guerrillas has been going on since November last year.
The city is famous for its magnificent churches, which are carved up and down the hill. The churches are made of a large stone, and they are attached to the rock.
The only way to get down to the area around the churches is by stairs and tunnels.
The area with eleven churches has elaborate caves and catacombs.
They date back to the 12th and 13th centuries and have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1978.
Ethiopia was Christianized in the 4th century, one of the first nations in the world.
Lalibela is named after King Gabri Meskal Lalibela, who began construction in the 100s.
He is said to have been told by God to build the “New Jerusalem”, and the angels are said to have assisted in the construction.
– We saw the news that the forces had captured Lalibela from Tigray. We urge the TPLF to preserve this cultural heritage, “said Nate Price, a State Department spokesman.
The United States urges all parties to the conflict to stop the violence and allow humanitarian aid to reach the Tigris region.
On Wednesday, USAID President Samantha Power said only 10 percent of the Tigre region’s emergency needs would be met.
– From mid-July to August 2, there was a demand for 1,500 trucks. Only 153 survived. This is 10 per cent of the demand, Power said.
The United States estimates that up to 900,000 people are starving in Tigris. Ethiopian government forces and their allies have been accused of destroying crops, looting food and threatening farmers.
Information on corpses in border rivers
On Monday, local authorities in the eastern part of neighboring Sudan said about 50 bodies had been found in the river bordering Ethiopia, many of which had been tied up and with gunshot wounds.
An official in Sudan confirmed the discovery last week in the province of Kassala and said it was the victims of the war in the Tigre region of Ethiopia.
Two Ethiopian health workers in the Hamdait area confirm seeing bodies floating in the Deca River, also known as Cedit, located on the Sudanese side.
The river flows through a part of Tigre that was badly affected by fighting during the nine-month war between regional forces and Ethiopian government forces.