Dec26, 2006 (ADDIS ABABA) — Islamic fighters were in a tactical retreat Tuesday after suffering massive casualties as government and Ethiopian troops advanced for control of Somalia, Ethiopia’s prime minister said.
“I hear reports of close to 3,000 injured in Mogadishu’s hospitals … and well over 1,000 might have died. Some of them are Somalis, but a very significant proportion of them are not Somalis,” Prime Minister Meles Zenawi told reporters in the Ethiopian capital. He cited internal military reports.
Somalia’s Council of Islamic Courts has been under heavy fire since Sunday, when Ethiopia sent fighter jets across the border to help Somalia’s internationally backed government push out the Islamists. Ethiopia bombed the country’s two main airports and helped government forces capture several villages.