Islamic fighters retreated from the main front line in Somalia early Tuesday after a week of artillery and mortar duels and attacks by government and Ethiopian troops, witnesses said.
Troops loyal to the Council of Islamic Courts withdrew more than 50 kilometers (30 miles) to the southeast from Daynuney, a town just south of Baidoa, the government headquarters. The retreat along the western front follows the bombing by Ethiopian jets of the country's two main international airports.
The Islamic forces also abandoned their main stronghold in Bur Haqaba and were forming convoys headed toward the capital Mogadishu, residents in villages along the road told The Associated Press by telephone.
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