Ethiopian troops have crossed the border back into central Somalia, less than a week after completing a military pullout from its neighbor.

The Islamists who control most of Somalia and have used the foreign presence to rally recruits vowed to fight any Ethiopian troops who did not leave.

However, the newly elected president of Somalia told fellow African leaders of his intention to improve relations with Ethiopia after having previously characterized it as an enemy.

An official for the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), the movement of newly-elected Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, said some Ethiopian troops had crossed from the border town of Ferfer to the village of Kalaber.

The Ethiopian forces are violating the basic integrity of Somalia again and they entered the Hiran region only days after their government announced its complete withdrawal from the country, Ahmed Osman Abdalla, ICU commander in the nearby western town of Beledweyn said.

If they do not pull out of our country, we will fight them to death, he added.

Local residents said that Ethiopian forces had set up a checkpoint in Ferfer and were checking trucks and other vehicles crossing the border.

They stopped a bus I was on in Ferfer and I could see they were checking all vehicles passing in the area, Osman Adan said.

Local elders in Beledweyn also expressed concern over the return of Ethiopian forces in the region.

The move shows that Ethiopia is still creating insecurity in Somalia because they sent their troops back to Somalia and they are now only 25km from our town, Beledweyn elder Haji Adan Mohamed said.

Ethiopian troops completed their withdrawal from Somalia in January, more than two years after invading to remove the ICU, which had taken control of large parts of the country.