At least five people were killed in south-central Somalia on Friday after Islamist insurgents targeted an Ethiopian army convoy that left the town of Baidoa, sources said.
Two Ethiopian soldiers were killed in the ambush, while the insurgents lost three fighters, according to witnesses.
One of the Ethiopian army’s trucks was “burned” in Bardale town, which is located 55km southwest of Baidoa, seat of Somalia’s interim federal parliament.
“We attacked Ethiopian forces near Bardale and inflicted heavy casualties,” said Abdirahim Isse Addow, a spokesman for the military wing of the Islamic Courts Union.
He admitted that two Islamist fighters were killed during the battle, whereby both sides used machineguns and rocket launchers.
As routine, there was no official word from the Ethiopian military regarding attacks in Somalia.
Islamist rebels have led a bloody anti-Ethiopia insurgency since January 2007, after Ethiopian troops invaded Mogadishu and ousted the Somali capital’s Islamic Courts rulers.