Somalia: Govt, Ethiopian Forces Capture Strategic Town

Hudur — Somali Government forces aided by battalions from the neighboring country of Ethiopia have liberated Bakool regional capital of Hudur from Al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab fighters on Friday, Garowe Online reports. Before the allied forces began to thrust into the strategic town of Hudur, they Thursday afternoon clashed with Al Shabaab militants in Teed village which lies about 30 km from Hudur according to witnesses. 12 persons from the opposing sides were confirmed dead, Bakool region adminstration disclosed. African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) , on its twitter feed said: “AMISOM and Somali National Froces have captured Hudur town, regional capital of Bakool province”.

Hudur Mayor Mohamed Moallim Ahmed said on Radio Mogadishu that Somali and Ethiopian-AMISOM soldiers are carrying out door-to-door investigations in Hudur.

“Many suspects have been arrested during the joint security operation because we want to cleanse the town of Al Shabaab threats,” added Ahmed. The militant group took over the control of the seized town in March 2013 after Ethiopians made a surprise pullout. Hudur, located in southwestern Somalia had since been Al Shabaab’s biggest stronghold.

Ethiopia troops intervened in southern Somalia in Dec. 2006 and withdrew by Jan. 2009, but returned to Gedo, Bay, Bakool, Hiran and Galgadud border regions in early 2012 in support of Somali government’s stabilization operations.