MOGADSIHU, (Reuters) – Fighting between Somali Islamist insurgents and Ethiopian forces killed eight people in Mogadishu on Saturday, including two Ethiopian soldiers, residents and witnesses said.
Insurgents opposed to the interim government’s Ethiopian allies opened fire on Ethiopian troops patrolling the capital’s main livestock market, drawing retaliatory fire.
“As the fighting became heavier, the Ethiopian troops fired tank shells … killing a young girl and seriously injuring her two sisters,” resident Hussein Elmi told Reuters by phone.
Another resident who asked not be named told Reuters he had seen several wounded militants being carried away after an Ethiopian shell exploded.
Five other people were also killed by stray mortar round that landed at a restaurant in Fagah neighbourhood in north Mogadishu.
“A mortar round blasted a restaurant in Fagah, killing three street boys and two men standing outside while wounding at least seven others dining inside the restaurant,” resident Abdirahin Mohammed Ali told Reuters by phone.
The government is still struggling to impose its authority on the Horn of Africa nation and flush out the insurgents who mount near-daily roadside bombings and grenade attacks in Mogadishu.
Up to 68,000 people are believed to have fled the city since the beginning of the year.
A resident living close to the Suqa Holaha livestock market, told Reuters that he saw two dead Ethiopians.
Hospital officials said more than 70 wounded people had been admitted in the last 48 hours.