Sunday, March 11, 2012

Scores dead as Ethiopian forces clash with militants in Somalia

(CNN) -- Islamic militants ambushed Ethiopian forces in southern Somalia Saturday and hours-long fighting left scores of people dead.

The fierce firefights killed 86 Al-Shabaab fighters, said Diyad Abdi Kalil, a commander of the transitional government in Somalia's Gedo province. The militants ambushed the soldiers in the town of Yurkut, still under Somali control.

In recent weeks, Somali government forces, backed by their Ethiopian allies, have retaken southern towns controlled by Al-Shabaab, including strategically important Baidoa.

The gun battles lasted almost five hours, Kalil said, and erupted a day after the African Union announced that Ethiopia planned to withdraw its troops from Somalia by the end of April. Read More