Somalia accused Ethiopia today of mounting air raids deep inside its northern territory, hitting the town of Hargesia and the port of Berbera.
Two children were killed and 13 injured in the raids yesterday, according to Somali radio, monitored here. No material damage was mentioned.
Somalia claimed today it had shot down six of eight Ethiopian planes that took part in the attacks, which mark the first reported used of Soviet-built Mig-21s by the Addis Ababa government.
Earlier, the Somalia Defense Ministry had announced that three Ethiopian planes were shot down.
Somalia radio said the Ethioplans were "taught an unforgettable lesson" in the attacks, on Berbera and an Hargeisa, which is the main staging point of Somali forces fighting Ethiopia in the Ogaden Desert.
But Addis Ababa radio called the Somali report an "empty cry," and suggested the attacks might have been carried out by "Somalia's own favorite creation - the so-called Western Somalia Liberation Front, which fights with warplanes and tanks."
The Somali report represents one of the largest claims of downed aircraft by either side since hostilities began last summer between Ethiopia and Somalia insurgents trying to seize the Ogaden desert regain in southeast Ethiopia.
The Somali report said the Ethiopians were flying American-built F-5 warplanes and Soviet-built Mig-21s.
This was the first indication the Ethiopians were using their new Soviet-made warplanes, sent to Addis Ababa in the last few months as part of a massive arms build-up to the beleaguered military government.
It was also the first tie the Ethiopians reportedly had tried to bomb Berbera, which until several weeks ago a major Soviet missile and communications facility for its submarines in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean.
In November, as the Soviet arms build-up to Ethiopia increased, Somalia closed all Soviet facilities in the country, expelled some 6,000 Soviet advisers and renounced a treaty of friendship with Moscow.
Denouncing the raid as "barbaric," Somalia accused Ethiopia of planning to invade northern Somalia and capture Hargeisa and Berbera with active Soviet and Cuban support.
In Iran, Somali President Mohammad Siad Barre told a news conference" that the "invasion of Somalia has begun" and called on the United States to "fulfill its moral responsibility" to Somalia.
He said he had gotten "words, just words from the West" instead of material aid, even after expelling the Soviets.