Somalia's Prime Minister, Abdiweli Mohammed Ali
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Somalia al-Shabab militant base of Baidoa captured

Ethiopian and Somali troops have taken a strategic stronghold of Islamist militants in south-western Somalia.

Eyewitnesses told the BBC that about 50 vehicles, including some 20 tanks, had entered Baidoa, which was not defended.

Al-Shabab, which has recently joined al-Qaeda, confirmed that it had withdrawn its forces. It said that it would start a guerrilla war in response.

Somalia's Prime Minister, Abdiweli Mohammed Ali, is in London for a major international conference being hosted by Britain on Thursday.

The BBC's Peter Biles asked him whether al-Shabab had simply withdrawn from Baidoa.

  • 22 Feb 2012
  • From the section Africa