A large contingent of Ethiopian troops has crossed into Somalia, reports from Gedo region in southern Somalia indicated Wednesday.
According to eyewitnesses in Dolo town, 450km southwest of Mogadishu, the military force proceeded to Luq town, 350km southwest of the Somali capital.
“A force about 3,000-strong armed with heavy weaponry crossed the border into Somalia and proceeded to Luq town,” said one eyewitness.
People in the area speculated that the Ethiopian forces may be heading towards Bardere town, which is controlled by the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab militia.
Bardere is the only district in Gedo region controlled by the jihadist group, having lost the other four towns of Dolo, Luq, Beled Hawo and Garbaharrey to Amisom and Somali government forces.
During the holy month of Ramadhan, Al-Shabaab militants have multiplied their attacks on government and Amisom positions, even spilling their violent campaign into neighbouring Kenya.