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ICU lost key towns in Somalia
Mon. December 25, 2006 04:07 am.

(SomaliNet) Heavily armed Ethiopian troops with militia loyal to former warlords on Monday have fully taken control of Beledwein and Bulo-Barde towns in central Hiran region from the Islamic Courts Union.

Yusuf Mohamud Hagar known as ‘Daba-Ged’, former mayor of Hiran province addressed crowds of people who rallied in central of Beledwein saying that government forces are going to capture the whole country and continuing to clear all the Islamists out of Somalia.

“I am telling you to be quiet, everything will be turned to normal, our aim is to fight against the terrorists in the country,” Yusuf Daba-Ged said. “We are chasing them towards Mogadishu, government troops will assure to take over whole the country,”

Sheik Mohamud Janaqow, the deputy leader of executive council of Islamic Courts Union admitted that they lost Beledwein city, taken over by Ethiopian forces.

He said that Islamist fighters withdrew from the town after heavy air bombardment by the Ethiopian fighter planes.

Sheik Janaqow condemned the Ethiopian air strike in Somalia as in violation of Somalia sovereignty.

Witnesses in Bulo-Burde, a town 190km north of the capital confirmed SomaliNet that the town has fallen to Ethiopian troops along with the militia loyal former warlords after heavy gun battle with the Islamic fighters.

Among the former warlords was Mohamed Omar Habeb ‘Mohamed Dhere’ who is with the Ethiopians and wants to recapture his Jowhar Township some 90km north of the capital.

Unconfirmed reports say that hundreds of Ethiopian tanks moved towards Jowhar town.

One of the residents in Jowhar told SomaliNet this morning in telephone contact that there were large military movements by the Islamic Courts in the town to defend against the advancing Ethiopian troops.

Meanwhile, the Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi acknowledged that Ethiopian military is fully engaging war with the Islamists in the region until they crush them to the ground.

He said that Ethiopia has run out of patience and will destroy the power of Islamic Courts.

News Category: Somalia
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