ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopia will deploy troops inside Somalia for a "brief period" to help Somali and Kenyan forces battling Islamist militants expand their control in southern Somalia, Ethiopian officials said on Friday.
A government official also acknowledged for the first time that a small force had already rolled across the border to carry out reconnaissance missions. Addis Ababa had previously denied that scores of military trucks and armored vehicles had moved in on Nov 19 and 20.
"We are looking at a brief period of time, weeks. We don't want our deployment to be used for propaganda by the extremists," the government official, who declined to be named, told Reuters after a meeting of regional leaders in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.