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Ethiopian Troops at the Outskirts of Beled Weyne

Hiiraan Online
Thursday, July 03, 2008

Beled Weyn, Somalia (HOL) - Ethiopian troops who have been engaged in a brief fierce fighting with Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) forces who have recently taken control of Baledweyne city have arrived at the outskirts of Jandakunidishu near the central city of Beledweyne.

Eyewitnesses have confirmed to HOL that Ethiopian troops have divided into small groups to set up posts at different points at Jandkundisho and at the airport. The daily flight from Kenya that imports Khat into the city has not arrived today. Sources also tell HOL that Ethiopian troops used heavy weapon to shell the hills that around Jandkundisho.

The whereabouts of the UIC forces who have fought with Ethiopian troops this morning is not know although some reports say that armored vehicles belonging to the UIC have been spotted driving towards Halgan district.

It is not clear whether Ethiopian troops plan to remain at Jandakundisho camp or are using the camp as a transit to go to a different place. There is a substantial fear and anxiety among residents of the city about the presence of Ethiopian troops close to the city since UIC forces vowed to attack Ethiopian troops even if they enter the city.

 The casualties and damages that resulted from this morning’s brief clashes between the two sides is not clear although Ethiopian troops mainly targeted their heavy shelling at the hills near the city which is know to be hide out of UIC forces. 

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