Ethiopia says its forces have killed 71 Islamist fighters and leaders
in Somalia in a joint operation with the Somali government.
media Friday say the joint operation was launched June 29 to stop what
it called a "planned terrorist offensive" in the Meteban and Gura'el
The reports say 13 of those killed were leaders of
Somalia's Islamic Courts Union or the al-Shabab militant group. They
say one of those killed was a Canadian colonel whose name is on a list
of international terrorists.
Reuters news agency quotes Sheikh
Abdirahim Issa Adow, an Islamist spokesman, as saying only seven
fighters were killed and nine others wounded in the clashes. The
spokesman also denied the insurgents had a Canadian colonel in their
Ethiopian troops entered Somalia two years ago to help
the interim government fight an Islamist movement that was threatening
to take over the country.
Fighting since then has killed thousands of Somalis and displaced more than a million others.
Somalia has been continuously torn by conflict since the fall of the last stable government in 1991.
Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.