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Al-Shabab expelled from Somali town

24 April 2010 6:17

Joint Ethiopian-Somali government forces have recaptured a small western Somali town near the border with Ethiopia, forcing out al-Shabab fighters from the area.

Days after al-Shabab captured the town of El Barde, a report broadcast by Radio Garowe announced on Friday that Ethiopian troops in armored vehicles along with Somali forces crossed into the border town.

The report came as Somali officials also confirmed the presence of Ethiopian troops in the region.

“They entered El Barde to expel al-Shabab elements from the border region and stop their advance,” a Somali official said on condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, al-Shabab fighters are reported to have fled to neighboring Rabdhere town.

The border town of El Barde fell into the hands of al-Shabab on Tuesday after a fierce battle with Somali soldiers which claimed the lives of at least 10.

Somalia has been without a stable central government since dictator Mohamed Siad Barre fled the country in 1991. Subsequent fighting among rival faction leaders resulted in the killing, displacement, and starvation of millions of Somalis.

According to the United Nations, between 350,000 and 1,000,000 Somalis have died since the start of the conflict.

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