Foreign diplomats urge government to reach out to opposition leaders.
|Al Jazeera exclusive|
Thousands of Ethiopian soldiers have been based in Somalia since the war with the Islamic Courts. Along with their Somali allies they have been under nearly daily attack for much of the year.
Al Jazeera was shown fighters shooting at targets labelled with the names “Bush”, “Zenawi”, and “Gedi”; referring to the US president president, the Ethiopian prime minister, and his counterpart in Somalia’s interim government.
The men were also shown shooting rocket-propelled grenades, practising on mortar launchers and apparently engaged in explosives training.
US embassy bombings
Turki, also known as Sheikh Hassan, is accused of involvement in the co-ordinated bombings of US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salam in 1998that resulted in the deaths of 257 people and injured more than 5,000 others.
However, Turki, who is also wanted by the Kenyan government, has denied having any part in the attacks.
“These are malicious allegations. I was not part of any of these plots,” he told Al Jazeera in a rare exclusive interview.
“There are tensions with Kenya because the existing regime is an agent of the US. We advise the Kenyans to change this regime in the next elections,” he said.
Mwai Kibaki, the Kenyan president who is seeking re-election in December, angered the Islamic Courts when the country’s security forces blocked the border and detained some of the group’s fighters as they retreated in January.