Suspected insurgents shot down a cargo plane over Mogadishu on Friday, killing all 11 on board, during a third straight day of clashes with Ethiopian troops propping up the Somali government.
The Belarussian plane was hit by a rocket shortly after takeoff from Mogadishu airport and crashed in the northern Karan neighborhood, Somali government spokesman Hussein Mohammed Muhamoud told reporters.
"Three rockets were fired at the plane and one of them hit the plane. This is an act that will not be accepted by the Somali people and government," he said.
"All the 11 are dead. Ten died on the spot and one died in hospital," a Red Cross-Red Crescent official, who asked not to be named, told reporters yesterday.
The Red Cross-Red Crescent, which operates at the hospital where the victims of the crash had been brought, did not specify their nationalities.
Airport officials said the plane had brought engineers and equipment to Mogadishu to repair another that two weeks ago had been hit by a rocket fired by Islamist fighters and seriously damaged when landing.
Friday's rocket attack came as fighting erupted for a third straight day in Mogadishu, breaking a ceasefire agreement between Somalia's powerful Hawiye clan and the Ethiopian army made only hours earlier.
Both sides confirmed a ceasefire meeting had taken place on Friday, with a spokesman for Hawiye clan elders claiming a deal had been struck while Ethiopian officials saying it had fallen short of truce.
A source close to the Somali government, requesting anonymity, said the ceasefire had been broken because the elders had made a deal with only some of the Hawiye militias.
Divisions within the clan are common and limit the ability of the elders to deliver on their promises.
The EU presidency said it was deeply concerned about the latest developments in Somalia.
It also urged the transitional federal government to "reach out to all Somalis of good will, in a spirit of national reconciliation, and to launch a genuine National Reconciliation congress."
At least 24 people have been killed and hundreds more wounded this week in the heaviest fighting since the government and its Ethiopian allies drove out rival Islamists from the capital three months ago.
Thousands have fled the spiralling violence since the start of year and dozens, mainly civilians, have died.
Residents on Friday reported exchanges of fire at the defense ministry headquarters where Ethiopian troops are based.
"There is no face-to-face fighting, but Ethiopians in the camp are receiving shots from long-range machine guns and they are returning fire in their direction," southern Mogadishu resident Ahmed Yolah told reporters.
Meanwhile, around 200 African Union peacekeeping troops in a dozen armoured vehicles set up base at a notoriously dangerous area of the city known as the K4 junction.
"We came here to secure this area and from here to conduct patrols. K4 is a very strategic junction. You have to pass here to go anywhere in Mogadishu," Platoon commander Colonel Peter Elwelu said.