President Yusuf, who is due to return to Mogadishu on Thursday from Puntland, addressed hundreds of Puntlanders that gathered in the town of Garowe to celebrate August1 anniversary when the regional administration was set up.
"When we speak about the truth, more than 350 young men died in the harsh battles that occurred between me and Adde Mussa," he said.
The president’s remarks come as the ten civilians, including women and children, were killed in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, on Thursday after more than 40 mortars fired by Ethiopian forces in the capital targeted a residential area.
One of the residents, who asked to remain anonymous because he was afraid of reprisal, told Shabelle that a group of insurgents attacked the Ethiopian bases from the residence, firing mortars.
"The Ethiopians in the Stadium and in former Somalia Defense Ministry responded with more than 50 artillery bombs. After the Ethiopians stopped bombing us, the neighbors came out trying to rush the wounded to Medina hospital, but we were stopped by government troops somewhere closer to the hospital, sparking the death of two of the wounded after hemorrhaging," he said, indicating that the soldiers later allowed them to proceed to the hospital.