Mr Abiy said in a statement that a "red line" had been crossed

Ethiopia’s cabinet has declared a six-month state of emergency in the country’s northernmost state, Tigray, following escalation of tensions on Wednesday.

In a statement, the cabinet said the emergency is meant to “maintain the country’s peace, the safety and security of its citizens and to prevent acts that may lead the country to further unrest and instability”.

It said the situation in Tigray state can no longer be “controlled through the regular law enforcement mechanism”.