Somali government troops assisted by Ethiopian forces make more gains

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Somali Government forces backed by Ethiopian troops have taken control of Hudur, about 420km south of the capital Mogadishu, residents said. According to residents, the allied forces entered the town Thursday around 2pm (local time), having moved from an area 15km away. They said there was no resistance from Al-Shabaab militants who left the town earlier. The arriving troops set up positions in and around Hudur, urging the people to conduct business as usual. Al-Shabaab, the radical Islamist opposed to the Transitional Federal Government, have made no statement regarding the loss of the capital of Bakol region. The Somali Transitional Federal Government sources also said Al-Shabaab militants abandoned Burhakaba and Qansah-dhere towns, about 200 and 180km southwest of Mogadishu. “This is the third district in Bay region seized by pro-government forces,” said Mohamed Hussein Afarale, a member of Somalia’s Parliament, who was with the advancing troops. The advancing troops came from Baidoa town, 240km southwest of Mogadishu, which Al-Shabaab lost in February. “We took over Burhakaba and Qansah-dhere without resistance,” remarked Afarale.
(Agencies)