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 fanatical Islamists had reportedly vacated their positions in the town on Wednesday afternoon as the enemy forces advanced “Not even one Al-Shabaab loyalist is in the town (Hudur),” said a resident who asked not to be named for security reason. The development was preceded by intense fighting at a location known as Teed, about 15km west of the town. The clash occurred when Al-Shabaab militants ambushed a unit of pro-government forces on a landmine Somali Islamists lose Hudur town Somali and Ethiopia troops have seized two districts in Bay region from the Al-Shabaab Islamist, Mogadishu officials said.
The Somali Transitional Federal Government sources 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 Mr Mohamed Hussein Afarale, a member of Somalia’s Parliament, who was with the advancing troops. The MP made the remarks when the Ethiopians and the pro-government forces captured Qansah-dhere. 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 Mr Afarale.
Ethiopian troops have been assisting pro-government forces that have so far seized strategic regional capitals in central and southern Somalia, including Beledweyne in December 2011. Baidoa and Hudur towns were taken over in February and March respectively. Al-Shabaab militants continue to be squeezed into a tight corner as Kenyan troops were pushing from the southern regions and the Ethiopians from the central and southwestern regions