Ethiopian troops have taken over the control of Abudwaq district in Galgadud region, our correspondent Abdikarin Bulhan reported on Thursday.

An Ethiopian army convoy of about 18 military trucks has reportedly reached in the town early on Thursday and made bases in parts of the city.

Islamic fighters who were controlling the town left after the Ethiopian troops entered it.

They conducted operations in the town and forced the residents to flee.

The motivation of the Ethiopian troops is unclear, but Islamists have been taking over central towns for the last three weeks.

The move comes as Ethiopian soldiers vacated a recent base in Jawiil Village 20 kilometres north of Beledwein town in Hiran region.

Ethiopia announced it would withdraw its troops from Somalia by the end of the year 2008.