The Islamic Courts Union (ICU) fighters have seized control of the central Somali town of Bula Burde, north of the capital Mogadishu.

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Bula Barde

Halkaan ka akhri

ICU seizes central Somali town

A Somali government vehicle burning on a Mogadishu street last year.

The Islamic Courts Union (ICU) fighters have seized control of the central Somali town of Bula Burde, north of the capital Mogadishu. Residents have confirmed that nearly 200 fighters armed with rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns have been in the town for at least four hours, AP reported.

The government soldiers have taken up defensive positions, while ICU fighters released scores of prisoners from the police station.

Bula Burde with around 3,000 residents is placed in the central region of Hiran, 215 kilometers (135 miles) north of Mogadishu.

Hiran governor Yusuf Mohamed, who was commanding the government forces, has reportedly fled the area.

Over the past year, Mogadishu and its outlying outposts have been a scene of daily violent clashes between Ethiopian-backed Somali forces and rebels.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, violence in Somalia had forced at least 15,000 people to flee to neighboring states since the start of the year.

Source Press TV

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