Italy's government on Friday tweeted its concern at the military escalation in Ethiopia, where long-standing tensions between the federal government and northernmost Tigray province boiled over into warfare this week.
"Italy is concerned by the recent events in Ethiopia, including the military escalation in the North, and expresses condolences for the victims," read the tweet from Italy's embassy.
"The unity and security of Ethiopia and its population is the priority and it must be assured through democratic means and broad dialogue."
Ethiopia's premier Abiy Ahmed said on Friday there had been airstrikes on military targets in Tigray state, and the army said it is sending more troops to the region. Ahmed has imposed a six-month state of emergency in Tigray, amid fears it could seek to secede from Ethiopia.
Other African countries are worried the crisis could escalate into all-out war under Abiy, who has failed to prevent outbreaks of ethnic unrest despite winning the Nobel Peace Prize last year for ending a decades-old conflict with neighbouring Eritrea.
UN secretary-general Antnnio Guterres tweeted on Thursday that he was "deeply alarmed" at the conflict in Tigray and called for an "immediate de-escalation of fighting".
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also called for an end to any fighting.