More than a dozen killed in Somali clashes

"Ethiopian troops killed four civilians and eight insurgents," said Somali resident Rage Osman.

More than a dozen killed in Somali clashes

"Ethiopian troops killed four civilians and eight insurgents," said Somali resident Rage Osman.

But Islamist spokesman Abdirahim Issa Adow told Reuters on Thursday that only two fighters had been killed, including a senior Mujahideen, and three wounded in the fighting.

"The enemy troops mercilessly killed many civilians after we attacked them because they treat all Somalis the same," he said.

"We will carry on fighting the Ethiopians until they leave our country."

Further south, residents in the Lower Shabelle region said at least seven people were killed in separate clashes between the two sides late on Wednesday.

"We had to flee the village because fighting spread to our side," said witness Ali Diriye. "We are now burying the seven who were killed."

Although a senior commander of the armed wing of the sharia courts group was killed in a U.S. air strike last week, his al Shabaab followers have vowed retaliation against the allied Somali-Ethiopian forces.

A local human rights group says up to 6,500 civilians were killed in Somalia's conflict last year. About 1 million Somalis are refugees in their own country because of the fighting that residents say has spurred a spate of human rights abuses.

Reuters

Last Mod: 08 Mayıs 2008, 14:45
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