Ethiopian troops are advancing on the Somali capital, Mogadishu, and could seize it within 24-48 hours, Somalia's envoy to Ethiopia said on Tuesday. "Ethiopian forces are on their way to Mogadishu. They are
about 70 km (40 miles) away and it is possible they could capture it in the next 24 to 48 hours," Abdikarin Farah told reporters in the Ethiopian capital.
Addis Ababa has vowed to protect Somalia's weak interim government from rival Islamists based in Mogadishu. A week of artillery and mortar duels between the two sides has spiralled into open war that both sides say has killed hundreds. Farah said a joint force of Ethiopian soldiers and fighters loyal to the Somali administration had seized 17 Somali towns. "They are being welcomed with singing and joy," He said. (Reuters)