Al Shabaab militants flee as Ethiopian troops advance on Hudur

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Addis Ababa, February 17 (WIC) — Somalia's Al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab fighters began to flee Bakool regional capital of Hudur of southwestern Somalia as battalions from Ethiopian Defence Forces have crossed the border into Somalia, Garowe online reports.

Witnesses in El-Barde town confirmed to Garowe Online News Agency that Ethiopian soldiers in battle tanks and artillery trucks are advancing towards Hudur where they vacated in March 2013.

"I saw nearly 50 armoured fighting vehicles which were moving into vicinities close to Hudur district," said El-Barde resident via telephone.

Meanwhile in Hudur, Al Shabaab fighters have been preparing for pullout over the past two days according to independent sources with eyewitnesses reporting that Al Qaeda inspired fighters left with most of their vehicles.

On 22nd of January, over 4000 Ethiopian peacekeepers were officially integrated into African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

Ethiopian troops moved into Beled Hawo town of Gedo region in October 2013 to resolve grudges that degenerated into deadly battles between Somali Government troops and Ahlu Sunah Wal Jamea militia.

Ethiopian 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. (Garowe Online)