More than a dozen people have died in clashes between armed insurgents and Somali soldiers in Hodon district in southern Mogadishu.
The rebel forces attacked government soldiers in the southern district of Hodon. The attack was followed by heavy artillery and gunfire exchange from both sides.
The incident left 13 soldiers and insurgents killed, while another 24 people were injured in the fighting, a Press TV correspondent reported from Somalia.
Later, almost 100 Ethiopian soldiers in a hospital-turned-military-base near the scene joined the Somali troops and opened fire through windows of the building.
The rebel militias backed off as Ethiopian tanks and military vehicles emerged bulldozing their way through empty civilian houses whose occupants had abandoned months ago.
Elsewhere, hundreds of people, mostly women and children, left their houses in Hiiraan region Thursday morning, fearing a heavy fighting that could erupt within a few hours.
The Ethiopian forces in Hiiraan earlier abandoned their bases in Buuloburde and Beledweyne as they faced some 7,000 Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) rebels in over 75 battlewagons heading toward them, the correspondent reported.
The advancement of insurgents, armed with artilleries and heavy weapons, scared people out of the towns where heavy clashes are expected to claim many civilian lives and cause water and food shortage.