Government of Ethiopia (Addis Ababa)

2 January 2013

Somalia: Reports of Al-Shabaab Leaders Withdrawing From Bardhere

Reports from Gedo region in Somalia claim that Al-Shabaab leaders have withdrawn from the town of Bardhere in the southern part of the region.

Bardhere was one of the last towns being occupied by Al-Shabaab in the region. Al-Shabaab imposed a curfew on Sunday to make sure its leaders were able to leave the town without problems, and apparently a number of foreign fighters also left with leading Al-Shabaab officials.

According to residents, Al-Shabaab fighters still remained in the town at the beginning of the week and were preparing to resist the Somali National Forces, allied militia and Ethiopian troops, now advancing towards the town. In most recent cases of liberation of towns, however, Al-Shabaab fighters have not made much resistance to the advance of the government forces, fleeing in advance of their arrival.

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