Ethiopian convoy was target of landmine blast in central Somalia (Somalia)
An Ethiopian military convoy that left Mogadishu and was en route to the central Somali town of Beletwein was the target of a landmine that exploded prematurely Saturday, witnesses and security officials said.
Eight Somali civilians were wounded when the Ethiopian soldiers disembarked from their armed vehicles and opened fire in all directions, according to locals.
The explosion occurred approximately 60km southwest of Beletwein, capital of Hiran region.
Ahmed Omar Jim'ale, a town official, told Garowe Online that Ethiopian soldiers were still parked near the scene of the explosion to conduct further investigation. The road remained shut today, severely restricting the smooth flow of traffic including aid delivery.
Residents in Bulo Burde town, south of Beletwein, said Ethiopian troops had entered their town with a list of wanted men. No suspects were detained by the Ethiopians but local businesses were ordered to shutdown early as investigations continued.
Security officials in Beletwein said the 20-truck Ethiopian army convoy was destined to partake in ongoing operations to secure Beletwein. On Friday, 3 civilians were hurt when a bomb went off inside the town.
Attacks against the Somali government and its foreign military allies have increased ever since the Ethiopian army helped government troops overrun Islamist militias six months ago.
Von: 24.06.2007, www.garoweonline.com