Ethiopian and Somali Transitional Government troops yesterday captured the strategic stronghold of Islamist militants Al Shabaab in south-west Somalia. Eyewitnesses told the BBC that about 50 vehicles, including some 20 tanks, had entered Baidoa city. Al-Shabaab, which has recently joined al-Qaeda, confirmed that it had withdrawn its forces, and would start a guerrilla war in response. Experts say Baidoa was the most important al-Shabab base after the southern city of Kismayo. They said Baidoa was a big loss to al-Shabaab, as the main road linking Mogadishu to the south-west and parts of Kenya and Ethiopia passes through the city. It is also the business route for most commodities that are transported from Mogadishu to other towns in the region.