BAIDOA, Somalia Mar 17 2013 (Garowe Online) – Al Shabaab
insurgents captured the town of Hudur 130 KMs from Baidoa after Ethiopian and
Somali troops vacated the town on Sunday, Garowe Online reports.
Ethiopian and Somali troops who were in control of Hudur’s security
for over a year left early Wednesday and shortly after, Al Shabaab insurgents
moved in capturing the town.
Residents of Hudur had been complaining of the exorbitant
prices paid for staple foods due to a siege by Al Shabaab insurgents in the surrounding area. Reports last month stated that the situation was very dire and that
residents fled to other districts in the region due to the blockade.
There has been no reports as of yet as to why Ethiopian and
Somali forces left the district, although some sources believe that it was a strategic retreat due to the conditions the troops faced. There are also reports that the forces
will reinforce security in Baidoa where there are 26 members of the federal
A delegation of 26 MPs arrived in Baidoa on Sunday led by MP
Adan Madoobe. During their stay the MPs are expected to meet with community
leaders and government officials in the region on issues concerning finance,
security and the regional administration.
There have also been talks of a possible state building
conference in Baidoa – which had been postponed following an administration reshuffle
– for the Bay and Bakool regions.
It is unclear if the MPs will address the postponed state
building conference during their stay.
Sources say that masked Al Shabaab fighters that had
been taking cover in the rural countryside have flooded the town of Hudur.
The take over of Hudur comes a day after President Hassan
Sheikh Mohamud stated that the offensive against Al Shabaab had been won and
that the weakened terror group had resorted to terrorist attacks.