Mogadishu (24-07-2008) Sapa-AFP – Ethiopian forces on Thursday killed nine civilians in central Somalia after coming under attack from insurgents, witnesses said.
The troops, who had been attacked as they were entering their camp in Beledewyne town, 350 kilometres north of the capital Mogadishu, responded by opening fire on civilians, they said.
“We collected nine dead civilians killed by shooting and shelling,” said Mohamed Moalim Adbullahi, an elder.
Beledweyne resident Musa Sheikh Haji confirmed the fatalities that occurred after the insurgents fled the township.
“Seven civilians were shot dead near a bridge in town and two others killed in the shelling of the town,” he added.
Ethiopia sent troops into Somalia in late 2006 to help dislodge Islamists who had taken control of much of south and central Somalia and continues to back the country’s weak transitional government.
The insurgents have vowed to fight on until Ethiopian forces pull out of the troubled Horn of Africa nation that has been wrecked by lawlessness since the 1991 ouster of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre. – Sapa-AFP
Published on the Web by IOL on 2008-07-24 13:21:39