Quoting local witnesses, the BBC reported that around 50 Ethiopian army vehicles, including 20 tanks, had entered on Wednesday the city of Baidoa, which was the second most important stronghold of the Al-Qaeda-linked terrorist organization Al-Shabaab after the port of Kismayo. Media had earlier reported Ethiopian troops supported by Somali government soldiers were marching on strategic targets in the Bay region, 250 kilometers south-west of Mogadishu.
Al-Shabaab fighters had left Baidoa overnight, fleeing the Ethiopian advance of tanks. The terrorists later vowed to wage a guerilla war in response. Numerous residents of the region indeed fled their homes, fearing the battle to come. Al-Shabaad indeed increased attacks over the past months against the coalition forces, the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the civilian population, mainly in Mogadishu. It has alsoformally pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda, highlighting the growing terrorist against strategic targets across East Africa.