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Page last updated at 15:43 GMT, Saturday, 16 August 2008 16:43 UK

Somali minibus attack toll rises

A bomb victim is wheeled towards Mogadishu's main hospital, Somalia, 3 August 2008
Roadside bombs are often used by insurgents fighting the government

More bodies have been discovered in Somalia, near the scene of an attack on two minibuses outside Mogadishu.

Local people returning to their farms after the attack said they had found a further 16 bodies, bringing to nearly 60 the number of civilians killed.

The Ethiopian forces started shooting after their military convoy was hit by a roadside bomb, witnesses said.

The transitional government backed by Ethiopian troops threw out Islamists in 2006, but unrest is continuing.

Islamist insurgents have been carrying out frequent raids in the Mogadishu area.

After the latest attack on minibuses, witness Sahra Nor Osma told the Associated Press news agency: "Ethiopian convoys opened fire into different areas where thousands of displaced people were living; they killed everyone on the road."

Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf
Mr Yusuf also fell out with his previous prime minister

Another witness Fadumo Kheyre told AP: "Blood was pouring out of the buses."

Tens of thousands of displaced Somalis line the road between Mogadishu and Afgoye.

In a separate incident on Friday, insurgents attacked the convoy of President Abdullahi Yusuf as it was leaving for Ethiopia for talks over the country's fragile ceasefire.

Following that attack, Ethiopian-backed government troops responded by opening fire, killing five civilians.

President Abdullahi Yusuf has gone to Addis Ababa for talks with his estranged Prime Minister Hussein Nur Adde.

The discussions are aimed at resolving a power struggle between the two men which could in turn affect a ceasefire agreement signed with the opposition in June.





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