Somalia: Heavy losses as Ethiopia deploys military tanks

December 22nd, 2006 Print Print Email Email

z MOGADISHU, Dec 21, 2006 (AFP) – Somalia’s Ethiopia-backed forces and Islamic fighters Thursday stepped up clashes near the seat of government in a deadly escalation hours after the religious movement said it was at war with Addis Ababa, witnesses and commanders said.

As residents witnessed Ethiopia tanks rushing the frontlines, east and south of Baidoa, about 250 kilometres (155 miles) northwest of the capital, commanders said the battlefields were soaked with blood.

“I saw 10 Ethiopian tanks inside (Baidoa) town and they were heading to Daynunay area,” a flashpoint garrison town, about 30 kilometres (20 miles) to the east, Mohamed Sahal, a resident of Baidoa, told AFP.

Commanders said rival forces were reinforcing Daynunay and a second outpost Adale, 60 kilometres (38 miles) south of Baidoa.

“The fighting in Idale area is intensifying time by time. There are a lot of reinforcements from both sides,” government commander Ibrahim Batari told AFP.

“There are a lot of bodies littered on the battle ground … No one can confirm the casualities at the moment because the fighting is very heavy,” he added.

Islamic commaders said they would use all the weapons in their possession to tackle their rivals.

“I tell you that there are great losses in this fighting,” said Islamic commander Mohamed Ibrahim Bilal.

“We are enforcing our side and they are renforcing theirs too. we are getting information that Ethiopians have brought a lot of tanks into Baidoa for reinforcement,” he added.

“We are not going to spare anything, we will use all the weapons that we have,” Bilal told AFP.

The government said Wednesday it had killed “hundreds” of rival fighters and wounded hundreds while the Islamists said they had killed at least 70 enemy combatants in the deadly assaults.

Both sides acknowledged heavy casualities, but there was no independent confirmation on the figures.

Earlier, Islamist chief Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys rallied Somalis to join the war against Ethiopian forces, two days after a deadline the Islamist gave Ethiopian troops to pull out or face major attacks expired.

“All Somalis should join the war against Ethiopia,” Aweys said, a day after calling the conflict “a small incident.”

The fighting erupted early Wednesday after the deadline expired at both sides have been shelling each other with rockets, morters and machinegun fire.

Somalia has lacked an effective administration since the 1991 ouster of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre and the two-year-old government has failed to exert control across the impoverished nation of 10 million people.

  1. | #1

    all i have to said is come on M*** F. come on. DEMO LE KEMES LEBASHE.by the way we ain’t start’d yet. so don’t get confuse. when we start men .u know how we do. do i have to remind u ? no. i think u don’t even like to talke about that . so every boudy that have a problem’s with EPRDF. MMM. i will pray for u habesha azzzzzzzzz.b/c this time ones for all we finsh da job and we will pop da shampan for da new milinum baby. kkkkkkkkk .is gone down baby. is gown down. is all good. in da neberhood . LONG LIVE EPRDF.

  2. Yigermal
    | #2

    Mamo Killo Gezbaw,

    If I were you, I prefer to die than spending time and doing nothing in this world.Your It was too hard for your mam to grow a retarded guy like you.She must be strong and/or cry everyday to God to take you away.Do you think ppl seriously read uour comments ? Every body make fun of you just like waching a mad dog.

  3. JAKOB SOLOMON
    | #3

    AYYY- YE MAMMO KILLO NEGER: MAMMO “PROUD WEYANEA” ASKARIS-HOW IN THE WORLD SOME ONE BE PROUD TO BEG AND CARRY THE DONATED WEAPON AND FOOD FROM DONOR NATION AND ATTACK A SOUVERIGN NATION.I HAVE NEVER WITNESS SUCH HATED AND FACISTIC MERCENERY GOVT IN ETHIOPIAN CURRENT HISTORY.WEYANEA IS ROLLING DOWN THE HILL TO ITS GRAVE AND ITS A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE IT HITS THE BOTTOM AND ITS REALITY AS BITTER AS IT SOUNDS TRY TO SWALLOW THE REALITY AND DEAL WITH IT

  4. aygeze
    | #4

    I feel pity for the innocent poor Ethiopian soldiers dying for nothing. Don’t we learn from our mistakes? Was it worth it for the hundred thousands soldiers who died fighting in Eriteria? Please someone up in this selfish regime wake up and do something for the sake of the poor Ethiopian people. Enough is enough. Our question is let the cud leaders,others be released and let the poor Ethiopian people get bread!!!!

  5. Tigist
    | #5

    MAMO…You are a sstupid Woyanee”¦ No body expect any good from you and yours alike. Woyanne can’t think and function in peaceful environment. Now, it is dragging Ethiopia to this unnecessary war. It looks easy to start the war, but it going to be tough to get out of it. Woyanne didn’t even finish the war that it started with Shabia. Now, it opens another front with Somalia. Unlike the war with Sahbia the majority of the Ethiopian people are not with Woyanne on this one. For true Ethiopians Woyanne is also an enemy. It is a big chunk problem on our march for united and democratic Ethiopia. Now, Meles is acting as if he is an Ethiopian patriot after what he has been doing to our country. This war is his war not ours. Unless he respond to our quest for the release of our leaders (The CUDP leaders), unless he takes practical measures to establish the democratic institutions, no normal Ethiopian support Meles on this war.

    We all now that he is begging us to be supportive of him. He is trapped and he needs a get away from his trap. I am glad one or the other way he is in a desperate situation. We Ethiopians won Somali more than once. We can do that any time, if they dare to take an inch from Ethiopian territory. But, now our priority is our internal problem. We have to fix our home first, and we will think about the neighbors later.

    Hey, the Woyanne guy who called himself “MAMO”; I don’t expect to have some logic and think thoroughly. Let some one read this comment and explain to you. When that person tries to explain to you, try to focus and learn from it. First, admit to yourself that you are stupid and you need to learn a lot. That is a good beginning of basic education. It is like our fathers said “Beshitawin Yeltenagere, Medhanit Ayegegnletem”

    Tigis

  6. mustefa
    | #6

    Great Mamo u lead and other follow. everybody is trash here

  7. chala
    | #7

    there is no question that meles is waging wor on icu for damag control as to what happened to him in 2005 election. however we ethiopians have to think about this wor in somilia. if we alow the icu to take over somilia we are going to have problem in ogaden and other part of ethiopia. remeber the wor in somilia is not with icu only we are fightitng all our enmys. shabia, olf, onlf and there forgien fighters.

    god bless mama ethiopia!

  8. Dadi Bulti
    | #8

    You guys have to think as an Ethiopian, not as EPRDF or CUD or any other poletical party. Mamo killo u have to improve ur manner. What i wana say on the war against ICU is that what ever, i hate weynane, i support its action against ICU which would have been a great danger not only for Ethiopia but also the horn.

    Despite our poletical differnces, at least let us agree on our country’s sovernigty and dev,t.

    Let God give us Love and unity.

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