Hudur — Ethiopian troops in battle tanks reached Bakool regional district of El Barde in the early hours of Saturday morning according to witnesses, Garowe Online reports.
Local reports say that Ethiopians entered the town with armored fighting vehicles and infantry divisions from different directions.
The move seems response to plea by Somali Federal Government officials in the region who recently stressed the need for heavily-equipped battalions to liberate Al Shabaab-held areas.
Unlike El Barde ,Al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab militants still maintain presence in the other districts of Bakool region of southern Somalia.
Ethiopian forces moved into Beled Hawo town of Gedo region in October to resolve grudges that degenerated into deadly battles between Somali Government troops and Ahlu Sunah Wal Jamea militias.
Ethiopia's Prime Minister Hailemarium Deselegn has so far confirmed that his troops will join African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in an effort to dwindle Al Shabaab threats to the horn of Africa country and the region at large.
Ethiopian troops intervened southern Somalia in Dec-2006 and withdrew by Jan, 2009 but returned to Gedo, Hiran, Bay, Galgaduud and Bakool border regions in early 2012 in support of Somali government's stabilization operations.