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4 Ethiopian soldiers killed in Mogadishu ambush
MOGADISHU, Somalia Feb 23 2008 - At least four soldiers with the Ethiopian armed forces deployed in Somalia were killed Saturday after their water truck was ambushed by suspected insurgents, witnesses said.
The group of attackers used assault rifles during the ambush, which caught the Ethiopian soldiers "by surprise," according to one witness.
"The water truck was heading back to [Ethiopian] base at the pasta factory," said the witness in north Mogadishu, who counted the dead bodies.
Other witnesses corroborated the death toll.
The surviving Ethiopian soldiers returned gunfire targeting the Somali rebels, but no one was hurt and the rebels escaped.
Another witness said he fled the area immediately for fear of being arrested by Ethiopian army reinforcements, who arrived on the scene moments later and pulled the water truck and their dead soldiers from the attack location.
There were other acts of violence in Mogadishu today, including an explosion and an attempted assassination of a local government official.
A landmine exploded in south Mogadishu's Hodan district Saturday morning, wounding at least three Somali civilians.
The landmine was intended to target a government patrol as it drove by, but missed its target and injured the civilian bystanders, witnesses said.
"I saw the [Somali] soldiers arrest several people, but other people ran away [from arrest]," said a witness describing the scene.
An attempt to kill local government official Abdulle Ahmed Muse failed last night and the official is "recovering" at the hospital, according to Wadajir District Commissioner Ahmed Daa'i.
Mr. Muse was standing in front of his home in Wadajir when the attackers opened fire and wounded him before fleeing.
No government soldiers came to aid the wounded official, locals said. But neighbors helped tend to Mr. Muse's gunshot wounds.
Somalia 's capital has seen little respite from violence in the past 14 months, as Islamist-led insurgents continue their bloody guerrilla campaign to oust the interim government and its Ethiopian military backers from power in Mogadishu.
More than 6,000 civilians have been killed in violence, including countless government officials assassinated by the rebels. The United Nations says half of Mogadishu's population has fled the seaside capital and some UN officials consider Somalia to be Africa's worst humanitarian crisis.
Source: Garowe Online