The Ethiopian military has begun the “final phase” of a law enforcement operation in the northern Tigray region Thursday morning, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has said in a statement.

The statement came hours after the 72-hour ultimatum for the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) leaders and regional militias in Mekelle city to surrender expired.

“The 72-hour period granted to the criminal TPLF clique to surrender peacefully is now over and our law enforcement campaign has reached its final stage,” the prime minister office said.

Abiy said the army has been ordered to move on the embattled the regional capital , Mekelle and warned its residents to “stay indoors”. Ethiopianmonitor reports.