(Bloomberg) — Fighting between Ethiopian government troops and forces loyal to the rebel northern state of Tigray is continuing despite the fall of the regional capital, Mekelle, the dissidents’ top leader said.

Clashes are ongoing in two locations near Mekelle and two others 60 kilometers (38 miles) north of the city, Debretsion Gebremichael, the leader of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, which previously controlled the state, said in a text message on Friday. Most of the fighting has involved forces from neighboring Eritrea, which has been backing the federal government, he said.

The TPLF’s strategy is “to inflict heavy casualties in terms of human, material and moral” damage on the federal and Eritrean forces, he said. “We are achieving our objective.”