Thousands of Ethiopian troops invaded the key central Somali town of Beledweyne yesterday, and reports are now coming out that the town has been captured, with the Ethiopian government planning to transfer it to the control of the self-proclaimed Somali government.
Al-Shabaab has confirmed withdrawing from the town, but says that their forces are massing around the outside and planning to retake it. Reports also have civilians fleeing in anticipation of another battle to contest the town’s fate.
Beledweyne is one of several central towns often considered the “key” to offensives against the rest of the country, and as such is commonly targeted during offensives. Ethiopia is the most recent nation to have invaded Somalia, returning in force last month after ending their last occupation in 2009.
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