Five Somali, Ethiopian troops killed in mine blast

May 20th, 2008 - 11:19 pm ICT by admin  

Mogadishu, May 20 (DPA) Five soldiers were killed and several others were injured Tuesday when they triggered a landmine during an operation in Daynile, south Mogadishu, witnesses said. “I could see blood and shrapnel … three of them died on the spot but others were carried away,” Mire Dalmar, a resident of Daynile said.

Troops cordoned off the area while they removed the bodies of three Ethiopian and two Somali soldiers, but no further fighting was reported.

However, elsewhere in the city mortars rained down on Ethiopian bases in north Mogadishu. A witness told DPA that at least 10 shells landed in the bases.

The number of casualties was unknown and comment was not forthcoming from the government.

Violence in Mogadishu has increased since Ethiopian troops, working with the soldiers from the transitional federal government, took over from the Council of Islamic Courts, which controlled the capital for six months in 2006.

A US airstrike in early May killed Aden Hashi Ayro, the leader of the council’s armed wing al-Shabaab, and the militant group vowed that it would retaliate against foreign and government troops.

Somalia has been in a state of anarchy since the ouster of dictator Mohamed Said Barre in 1991.

It has been without an effective central authority, leading to constant inter-clan clashes that have left thousands dead and displaced around one million.

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