An Ethiopian drone strike has killed 17 civilians in the Tigray region on the day President Joe Biden spoke in a call with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to express concern about such attacks, local authorities said.

A report by the zonal administration said women at a flour-grinding mill made up most of those killed in the Monday strike near Mai Tsebri, according to a source who saw the report.

Drone strikes have been reported almost daily in Tigray, a humanitarian worker in the town of Shire told the Associated Press, with an attack over the weekend on a camp for displaced people in Dedebit killing at least 57 people and wounding more than 130, many of them children.

Mr Biden expressed concerns in Monday's phone call with Mr Abiy about detentions and civilian killings in the war against Tigray forces, while commending him for the release of several high-profile political prisoners.

The White House said Mr Biden raised the air strikes that continue to cause civilian casualties and suffering in Africa's second most populous nation.

The statement added that the leaders "discussed ways to accelerate dialogue toward a negotiated ceasefire, the urgency of improving humanitarian access across Ethiopia, and the need to address the human rights concerns of all affected Ethiopians, including concerns about detentions of Ethiopians under the state of emergency".

Mr Abiy described the conversation with Mr Biden as "candid" and both agreed "there is great value in strengthening our co-operation through constructive engagement founded on mutual respect".

The call was requested by Mr Biden after Jeffrey Feltman, the outgoing US special envoy to the Horn of Africa, visited Ethiopia last week for talks with senior leaders.

The months-long war has created a devastating humanitarian crisis. The conflict entered a new phase in late December when Tigray forces retreated into their region amid a new military offensive and Ethiopian forces said they would not advance further there.

Mr Biden stressed to Mr Abiy that the two sides must take advantage of the moment and called on the Ethiopian leader to improve humanitarian access, according to a senior administration official.

White House officials are concerned that if momentum is not maintained, the conflict - which has left thousands dead and hundreds of thousands facing famine - could further deteriorate.

Ethiopia's government has sought to restrict reporting on the conflict and detained some journalists, including a video freelancer accredited to the AP, Amir Aman Kiyaro.