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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

At Least 11 Killed in Fighting Between Militants, Ethiopian Forces in Somalia

Witnesses in Somalia say insurgents have burned and dragged the bodies of at least two soldiers through the streets of Mogadishu, after fierce fighting between militants and Ethiopian forces killed at least 11 people.

The violence erupted Wednesday after insurgents attacked Ethiopian tanks rolling through an insurgent stronghold near the headquarters of the former Defense Ministry in southern Mogadishu.

Ethiopian troops returned heavy fire and several people were wounded in the fighting. Witnesses say six soldiers were among the dead.

Ethiopia deployed soldiers to Somalia last December to help the interim government push an Islamist movement from power.

Somalia's internationally-recognized government has since been struggling to contain regular outbursts of violence by fighters loyal to the fallen Islamist movement.

The African Union has deployed troops to Somalia to replace the Ethiopian forces, which Addis Ababa plans to withdraw.
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