Ethiopian Troops Seize Strategic Town In Somalia, Claim Islamic Forces
The Associated PressOctober 9, 2006
BAIDOA, Somalia Ethiopian troops arrived in a strategic town in Somalia Monday alongside government fighters, residents and Islamic militia said. The move into Bur Hakaba followed deployment by Ethiopian troops in support of Somalia's weak but internationally recognized government, which has been increasingly challenged by the hardline Islamic fighters. Bur Hakaba is 60 kilometers (37 miles) east of Baidoa, the only town the government controls.
"Our militia has retreated from the town as the Ethiopians moved in," said Mohamed Ibrahim Bilial, whose militiamen are loyal to the Islamic forces. Several hundred Ethiopian troops alongside government militia rode into the town Monday morning without a shot being fired, witnesses said. The town is perched along six hill tops, allowing forces there to control the only road from the Somali capital Mogadishu, which the Islamic movement controls, and Baidoa, 250 kilometers (150 miles) awa