Somalia: Ethiopian troops kill civilians on minibus

Ethiopian forces opened fire on a minibus south of Mogadishu, killing at least five civilians, some sources report six. The incident, which also left seven civilians wounded, took place along the road from the Somali capital to the Walnlaweyn village, where the soldiers had been attacked earlier by a group of insurgents. Ethiopian military commanders justified what they defined 'accidental', claiming that due to the dark the soldiers could not identify whether they were insurgents or civilians. It was however merely the latest violent episode against defenceless Somali civilians by Ethiopian troops, deployed in the country in support of the Somali transitional government. Local and international rights groups have repeatedly accused Ethiopian troops of actual 'retaliations' against the population in response to insurgent attacks. Based on current estimates, at least 6,000 Somali civilians have been killed in the fighting and violence of the past year.