Four Somali soldiers were killed and several wounded when an army truck was ambushed in the capital where the government is battling a deadly insurgency, an official and witnesses said on Friday.
The soldiers were heading to reinforce their colleagues in Mogadihu's Suqaholaha district overnight when they came under rocket-propelled grenade attack, thy said.
"Four of our men were killed and several others wounded when insurgents ambushed them near the Arafat area I believe the death toll might rise," an army commander told AFP.
Witnesses confirmed the ambush, the latest in a string of attacks in Mogadishu.
"The vehicle was hit by an RPG shell and I saw it burning down as the forces left the scene at night. It was destroyed about 100 metres from my house," said Mus Farah.
Resident Abdisalm Adan Mohamed said dozens of heavily-armed insurgents poured into the area after government forces left.
Ethiopian troops came to the rescue of Somalia's embattled transitional government last year and ousted an Islamist militia that briefly controlled large parts of the country.
Since then, an Islamist-led insurgency has waged daily guerrilla-style attacks in Mogadishu against the government as well as the Ethiopian and the African Union troops protecting it.
The lack of stability and central authority has also allowed clan-based feuds to erupt and crime to grip the seaside capital.