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Ethiopia convoy attacked in Somalia - Islamist source

ISSUE 254
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Buroa Police Arrest Prominent Clan Leader

SNM Veteran Commander Hassan Yonis Habane Dies

US Seeks UN Backing For Somalia Peacekeeping Force

World AIDS Day Celebrated In Somaliland

Erigavo’s Students Trained In Leadership

New chapter in UN-Somaliland cooperation

Floods In East Africa Said To Kill 250

Somalia On Edge After Baidoa Suicide Attack

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Somaliland Administration And UNDP Agree New 2007 Partnership

Uganda : Journalists Call for Respect of Media Freedom

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Religious fanaticism not the main cause of political violence and terrorism

INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP: Somalia Conflict Risk Alert

Somalia Needs To Be Stabilized - US

Iran turns up the Heat

Citing Spike In Somalia’s Arms Trade, Security Council Extends Group Tracking Flows

Al-Jazeera and the Truth

FEATURES & COMMENTARY

U.S. Foreign Policy Toward Somaliland Within The Context Of The Bush Administration’s War On Terrorism

Somalia: Getting It Wrong In Somalia, Again

Sending African Troops Into Somalia 'Would Trigger War'

Islamists Claim Clash With Ethiopian Troops

Iman Promotes Online Auction To Help Fight AIDS

Eritrea : The Somali Problem Should Be Left for Somalis to Tackle!

Conflicts And Peace Building in Africa

Food for thought

Opinions

More Warning Signs Of Islamic Courts Influence In Somaliland & Desperate Need For Somaliland Response And Message

Media, The Hand That Rules Somaliland

The Imminence Of A Proxy War In Somalia And Its Ramifications – From A Somalilander’s Viewpoint

Islamism Rode Democracy's Wave

The Miracles At Hargeysa And Mogadishu. What Lessons Can Be Learned And What Is The Path To The Future?

Ethiopia And Kenya In Peril: Good US Strategy?


By Hassan Yare

MOGADISHU Nov 20, 2006 – Fighters loyal to Somali Islamists attacked an Ethiopian military convoy on Sunday, an Islamist source said, in what may be the first skirmish between the sides in the tense Horn of Africa nation.

Islamists seized the capital Mogadishu in June and now control much of the south of the country, leaving the interim administration marooned in Baidoa where residents say Ethiopian troops are protecting the Western-backed government.

If confirmed, it would be the first attack by the Islamists on Ethiopian troops, against whom they have declared holy war.

The Islamist source, who declined to be named, said the Ethiopian convoy hit a landmine and then came under gunfire.

A security source in Baidoa told Reuters six Ethiopians were killed in the attack. This could not immediately be confirmed.

Government officials were not immediately available for comment and residents could not confirm the Islamist's account.

"The Ethiopians have been attacked. Two of their trucks were burnt, while another two overturned," the Islamist source said.

Residents confirmed hearing an explosion and shooting from near the southern town of Berdaale but could not verify the cause.

"I heard a big explosion and gunfire from the direction a convoy of 21 Ethiopian military trucks was passing," said Isak Ali, who lives in Yurkud village near Berdaale.

"MILITARY TRAINERS"

He said he had seen several Ethiopian trucks pass through Yurkud in the last few days. Yurkud is on the way from the Ethiopian border to Baidoa.

Other residents said they later saw Ethiopian troops checking roads for landmines before arriving in Baidoa.

Addis Ababa has denied sending troops to Somalia although it says it has sent several hundred armed military trainers there.

It says the Islamists are led by terrorists.

Tensions have risen between the interim administration and the Islamists, whose territorial gains have thwarted the government's aim to impose central rule on a country in chaos since 1991.

The Islamists are just 30 km (18 miles) away from Baidoa, where residents say Ethiopian troops have dug trenches at a nearby military camp.

Both the government -- the 14th attempt at central rule since the 1991 ouster of a dictator -- and the Islamists, are vying for control of the nation of 10 million.

A third round of peace talks in Sudan between the two sides failed recently and many fear war could spread around the Horn of Africa and possibly further south into Kenya and beyond.

Source: Reuters

 


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