Fourteen civilians are killed in the ongoing fighting between Ethiopian forces and the Islamic Courts Union fighters in Bardale, Somalia.

Women and children are among the civilians killed in the recent clashes between Ethiopian forces and the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) fighters, Press TV correspondent in Somalia reported.

The killings continue as frantic residents flee Bardale, a town located 300 kilometers southwest of the capital, Mogadishu.

Meanwhile, Al-Shabaab militia -the armed wing of the Sharia Courts movement- have taken control of the town of Wanla Weynm, 115 kilometers northwest of Mogadishu and are using local police stations and government bases as command posts. Wanle Weyn is strategically important as it will allow Al-Shabaab to control movements between Mogadishu and Baidoa, the third largest Somali city.

Al-Shabaab was formed in Somalia in the wake of the loss of the ICU at the hands of the Transitional Federal Government and its backers -primarily the military of Ethiopia and the US- in a war in the Horn of Africa which has raged since 2006.

Also according to our correspondent, 65 Ethiopian journalists are being held in an attempt by the Ethiopian government to suppress information about the crisis in Somalia.

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