Ethiopian troops 'forced to withdraw' from key Somali town

Masked fighters occupied a key business district and residential neighbourhood in the Somali capital Saturday, saying they had forced Ethiopian troops to withdraw and urging locals to return home.

Ethiopian troops 'forced to withdraw' from key Somali town
Some 100,000 people have fled the 20-square-kilometer (8-square-mile) residential area surrounding Sodonka Road, a busy business area in southern Mogadishu, amid fighting in the last month between Islamic insurgents and Ethiopian troops supporting Somalia's pro-west, transitional government.

The Ethiopians gave no reason for their departure Saturday, though they had been under pressure from rights groups to vacate civilian houses.

We are the ones who forced the Ethiopians to withdraw from the residential areas,' one fighter said, giving his name only as Ahmed for fear of reprisals.

Another said the fighters were not insurgents or Shabab,' referring to the armed wing of an Islamic Courts group that briefly took power in parts of Somalia last year. We are mujahedeen,' he told journalists at a news conference.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 09 Aralık 2007, 14:33