2 July 2009

Somalia: Ethiopian Troops Reach Near Beledweyn Town

Beledweyn — More Ethiopian troops with armed vehicles have reached near Beledweyn town in central Somalia as Ethiopia said that it does not plan to send troops into Somalia, witnesses told Shabelle radio on Thursday.

Residents in El-gal and Ilka'adde villages about 20 kilometers north of Beledweyn town said that they had seen more Ethiopian units with many battle wagons pouring in there at overnight until Thursday morning adding that the troops made military movement in Kala-beyrka intersection in Hiran region.

"The Ethiopian troops arrived at El-gal village last night and they had been there for several hours and lately returned back from the village. They were including infantry troops and others with armed trucks," one resident said.

Reports from Kala-beyrka intersection say that more extra troops from Ethiopia crossed from the border joining to the other Ethiopian troops who had already been there.

It is unclear why the Ethiopian troops are returning back to parts of the central regions of Somalia and their deployment comes as the Ethiopian government spokesman Baraket Simon said that his government is not planning to send troops to Somali.

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