Heavy explosions have rattled the Somali capital, Mogadishu, leaving dozens of Ethiopian troops dead and many others injured.
The blasts hit north Mogadishu’s Towfikh district, which drew heavy gunfire from Ethiopian troops and anti-government fighters, killing dozens of Ethiopians, and injuring many others, Press TV correspondent in Somalia reported on Monday.
Eye witnesses say some 13 Ethiopian soldiers are still lying dead on the streets, while 14 other soldiers have been reported as missing.
Meanwhile in Suuq Baced area in northern Mogadishu, three other Ethiopian soldiers were killed by Bazooka rockets as the fighting continued.
Al-Shabaab spokesman Abdi Rahim Isse Addow told our correspondent that the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) is responsible for the attacks.
The streets of Mogadishu are the scene of daily clashes between opposition forces and Somali government forces, backed by Ethiopian troops.
Al Shabaab (meaning « youth ») is the armed wing of the sharia courts movement that ruled most of southern Somalia until early 2007 when US-backed Ethiopian troops entered the country and installed a transitional government there.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said on Thursday that Ethiopian troops were to leave Somalia and withdraw their support for the country’s interim government.
Somalia has been plagued by almost uninterrupted civil unrest since the 1991 ouster of former president Mohamed Siad Barre.