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Islamic extremist group Al Shabaab increases attacks on Christians in Somaliacomment (0)

March 20, 2014


Islamic extremist group Al Shabaab increases attacks on Christians in Somalia

Islamic extremists from the rebel Al Shabaab militia publicly beheaded a mother of two girls and her cousin in southeastern Somalia after discovering they were Christians, sources said.

In the port town of Barawa in the Lower Shebelle Region, the extremists called residents to the town center March 4 to witness the executions of the 41-year-old mother, Sadia Ali Omar, and her 35-year-old cousin, Osman Mohamoud Moge, the sources said.

Before killing them, an Al Shabaab militant announced, “We know these two people are Christians who recently came back from Kenya — we want to wipe out any underground Christian living inside of mujahidin [jihadists’] area,” according to an area resident.

Omar’s daughters, ages 8 and 15, were witness to the slaughter, sources said, with the younger girl screaming and shouting for someone to save her mother. A friend helped the girls, whose names are withheld, to relocate to another area.

“We are afraid that the Al Shabaab might continue monitoring these two children and eventually kill them just like their mother,” the area resident said.

The militants from Al Shabaab — which has vowed to rid the country of the Christian fellowships, which meet secretly as leaving Islam in Somalia is punishable by death — became suspicious of Omar and Moge due to their irregular attendance at Friday mosque prayers, sources said.

“The two people who were killed on many occasions did not take Friday prayers seriously, especially Omar, who claimed that she was praying in her house,” an area resident said.

Another source noted of Al Shabaab, “They have [spies] everywhere in Somalia.”

Somalis who have lived in Christian-majority Kenya are especially suspect. The sources said Omar lived in the Nairobi suburb of Eastleigh for seven years; her husband became ill in 2011 and returned to Somalia, where he died. Omar and her cousin Moge, who helped take care of her daughters, left Kenya for Somalia in January 2013.

Barawa reportedly came under Al Shabaab control in 2009. 

The recent event was just one of many similar stories that have taken place involving Al Shabaab militia. 

In the capital city of Mogadishu, gunmen who said they intended to kill a Christian for spreading his faith shot him to death, according to an area resident. Two men armed with pistols shot Abdikhani Hassan seven times as he approached his home after closing his pharmacy in Dharkenley District on Oct. 20, 2013. 

Al Shabaab, the Somali cell of Al Qaeda, was suspected of killing Fatuma Isak Elmi on Sept. 1, 2013, inside her home in Beledweyne, Hiran Province in south-central Somalia. Her husband had received a threatening note that morning believed to be from the Islamic extremist group and was away at the time of the murder.

Al Shabaab’s attack on the upscale Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, on Sept. 21, 2013, killed at least 67 people, with dozens still unaccounted for. 

On April 13, 2013, Al Shabaab militants shot Fartun Omar to death in Buulodbarde, 12 miles from Beledweyne. Omar was the widow of Mursal Isse Siad, killed for his faith Dec. 8, 2012, in Beledweyne. He had been receiving death threats for leaving Islam. 

Siad and his wife, who converted to Christianity in 2000, had moved to Beledweyne from Doolow eight months before. The area was under government control and there was no indication that the killers belonged to the Al Shabaab rebels, but the Islamic extremist insurgents were present in Buulodbarde, and Christians believed a few Al Shabaab rebels could have been hiding in Beledweyne.

In Barawa on Nov. 16, 2012, Al Shabaab militants killed a Christian after accusing him of being a spy and leaving Islam. The extremists beheaded 25-year-old Farhan Haji Mose after monitoring his movements for six months. 

Mose drew suspicion when he returned to Barawa in December 2011 after spending time in Kenya, according to underground Christians in Somalia.

(MS)

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