From: Berhane Habtemariam (Berhane.Habtemariam@gmx.de)
Date: Sun Jan 04 2009 - 12:56:02 EST
Four Ethiopian soldiers die in Somalia blast
MOGADISHU (AFP) - Four Ethiopian soldiers were killed Sunday by a roadside
bomb in the Somalian capital Mogadishu, officials and witnesses reported.
Ethiopia is in the final stages of withdrawing the last of its forces from
Somalia which it invaded in 2006 to overthrow Islamic militants and bolster
the transitional government and is handing over peacekeeping duties to an
African Union force.
The blast took place near a Somalian army checkpoint on a road westwards out
of the capital where Ethiopian troops were searching for bombs aimed at
trucks carrying troops and equipment.
The four Ethiopian soldiers died instantly, according to a Somalian army
officer, while an unspecified number were injured.
Fighting has raged between government and Ethiopian forces on the one hand
and Shebab Islamist fighters on the other in Mogadishu and a growing number
of provinces since early 2007.
In recent months the Islamists have been making progress.
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