Fighters from the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) have killed 15 government soldiers in an attack on a livestock market in southern Somalia.
The attack, carried out on the Dayah livestock market north of the capital Mogadishu, also injured a number of the soldiers, Press TV correspondent reported.
Witnesses claim the violence erupted after the soldiers in 10 military vehicles, arrived at the market and started extorting money from the business people, the report said adding that one of the vehicles was destroyed in the ensuing fire.
The two sides have also reportedly clashed heavily in the Heliwa District and Suuqa Holoha market, also north of the capital.
Civilians were said to have been caught in the crossfire, although no civilian casualties have been confirmed yet.
In the absence of a central administration in Somalia, the Ethiopian-backed interim government has been maintaining an uneasy control over the war-battered country.
ICU have vowed to keep up with their fight against foreign forces in Somalia including those from the AMISOM, Uganda and Ethiopia and have said they are determined to force Ethiopian forces to retreat from the country.