16/07/08 (B456) Press TV – De lourdes pertes au cours d’une nouvelle attaque en Somalie – Heavy casualties in Somali attack (En Anglais – Info lecteur)

At least 135 Somali soldiers have been killed and around 100 injured as four military vehicles in their convoy were hit by landmines.

A convoy of newly-trained Somali soldiers which had left Ethiopia became the target of an attack near Bardale town, 65 kilometers from Baidoa, Press TV correspondent reported.

Four military vehicles were destroyed in the attack by forces of the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) and Al-Shabaab.

Heavy fighting between the sides spilled over into Bardale, reportedly killing and injuring 32 civilians and prompting locals to flee the area as over 80 houses went up in smoke.

The Union of Islamic Courts has vowed to continue fighting until Ethiopian troops, an occupying force in Somalia, leave the country.

The continuing violence comes days after UN-mediated talks ended in Djibouti with an agreement to cease hostilities within one month. The agreement demands the withdrawal of US-backed Ethiopian troops currently supporting Somalia’s Federal Transitional Government (FTG).

The deal also calls for a UN force to replace Ethiopian forces but gives no clear indication on the size of the force required to prompt an Ethiopian pullout.

The UIC had brought stability to much of Somalia and had gained control of the capital Mogadishu until Ethiopian troops entered the country to support the FTG in late 2006.

Amnesty International says that in 2007, around 6,000 civilians were killed and more than 600,000 were forced to flee their homes in Mogadishu alone.