Somali gov’t forces retake border towns, residents flee

MOGADISHU, Somalia (Keydmedia) - Somali government soldiers backed by Ethiopian forces on Wednesday recaptured the southern border town of Bardale in Bay region from Islamist fighters of Al Shabaab following days of fierce battles.
News Keydmedia Online

The town which is just 60-Km away from Baidoa city has been the scene of clashes between Somali government forces and allied militias and Islamist fighters from Al Shabaab, which now controls much of the south and centre of Somalia.

The initial reports from the region say many Ethiopian troops with tanks and artillery weapons supported by Somali government soldiers, rolled into Yurkud, a small town which locates at the border between Bay and Gedo regions of southern Somalia.

Abdifitah Ibrahim Gesay, the governor of Bay region confirmed to Keydmedia English News that TFG and Ethiopian forces are now fully in control of Bardale town and will continue their operations unless they root out the rebels from the whole region.

Al-shabab rebels were also reported to have pulled out on Wednesday from Baidoa town after allied forces from government and Ethiopian forces made advances towards the town,forcing residents to flee from their houses.

The weak UN-backed Somali government has since the past year been planning to launch a major offensive to retake Islamist-run parts of the capital Mogadishu and the south and central provinces.

Islamist group of Al Shabaab have so far neither confirmed the towns seizure by Ethiopia and somali government forces nor denied it. - Mogadishu, Somalia

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