16/08/08 (B461) Press TV / 20 civils meurent sous les balles des militaires éthiopiens / 20 Somalis slain by Ethiopian troops

Ethiopian soldiers have killed 20 Somali civilians while moving from their bases in south Mogadishu to the southwestern town of Baidoa.

The soldiers were moving in a convoy of 58 military vehicles along with Somali government forces when the incident happened.

An elderly man and his four sons were among the victims who were slain in front of the Asluubta base south of the Somali capital of Mogadishu, a Press TV correspondent reported.

Three massive explosions were also heard which reportedly killed nine Ethiopian soldiers. The violence forced refugees to desert their camps in nearby areas.

Fifty-five Somali troops, traveling with the convoy, were seen fleeing the Ethiopians before handing their weapons over to the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) fighters as a sign of allegiance.

Heavy fighting between Mogadishu and its southern region of Afgoye left 17 Somali soldiers dead.

Somalia has been without an effective central government since President Siad Barre was overthrown in 1991. In 2006, US-backed Ethiopian troops invaded the country in an attempt to back Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG).