MOGADISHU, Somalia, Nov. 28 (UPI) -- The head of the Union of Islamic Courts in Somalia accused Ethiopian forces Tuesday of shelling a town north of the capital.
The Islamists captured the town, Bandiradley, earlier this month.
Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed told a rally in Mogadishu that Ethiopian troops surrounded Bandiradley and began firing missiles, the BBC reported.
"Their tanks are trying to surround the area and now they are about 10 kilometers (6 miles) away from the town where our fighters are based," he said.
Somalia has effectively had no government for 15 years. The Islamist group, which opposes the warlords who had controlled most of the country, seized the capital earlier this year.
Eritrea backs the UIC, while Ethiopia opposes it. The interim government now controls only the town of Baidoa and a small area surrounding it.
Ahmed spoke at a rally to oppose a U.S. plan to send a peacekeeping force into Somalia.