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Ethiopian Troops Seize Strategic Town In Somalia
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Mogadishu , Somalia, October 09, 2006 – Ethiopian troops arrived in a strategic town in Somalia alongside government fighters today, 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 hard-line Islamic fighters. Bur Hakaba is 35 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 this 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, 150 miles away.

Source: IOL


Islamic leader Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed, wearing combat fatigues and holding an AK47 assault rifle, speaks during a news conference, Monday, Oct. 9, 2006 in the Somali capital Mogadishu. Ethiopian troops briefly entered a strategic hilltop town in Somalia Monday alongside government fighters, residents and Islamic militia said, and Somalia's radical Islamic forces declared a holy war against Ethiopia. 'I urge all the Somali people to wage holy war against the Ethiopians,' said top Islamic leader Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed. 'We need action rather than words,' he told a brief news conference in Mogadishu, the capital his forces hold. (AP Photo/Mohamed Sheikh Nor)

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