Cairo-Somalia’s militant al Shabaab group said late Friday it had executed four people it accused of espionage, including one who was beheaded for allegedly giving information to the United States leading to the killing of the group’s former leader.
According to al Shabaab’s radio, Al Andalus, the four executed men were sentenced to death on Friday afternoon “after they were proved working with the CIA, Kenya and Somalia.”
“They were publicly executed in a field in Bula Fulay village of Bay region,” Al Andalus said, referring to an area in southern Somalia.
According to the radio broadcast, the beheaded man was Mohamed Aden Nur, 26, who was accused of “working with (the) CIA” and facilitating the killing of al Shabaab’s former leader Ahmed Godane, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2014.
Another of the executed men, Muhaydin Hiraab Ahmed, 27, was accused of spying for the CIA and Somalia’s neighbor Kenya, and helping in the killing of Adnan Garaar.
Garaar, who allegedly masterminded the deadly assault on the Westgate Mall in Kenya’s capital Nairobi in 2013, was also killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2015.
Ahmed Nur, a local resident, told Reuters by phone that people in the area had been asked by al Shabaab to gather near its camp.
“We thought there was a lecture, however we witnessed three men shot dead and another beheaded in front of us,” he said.
The group’s insurgency aims to drive out the African Union force AMISOM, topple Somalia’s Western-backed government and impose its strict version of Islam on the Horn of Africa state.
On the other hand, the Ethiopian Defense Ministry said in a statement that it was able to kill around 245; pointing out that it has arrested a number of militants from al Shabaab group and confiscated a large number of artilleries.
On Thursday, Somalia’s al Shabaab Islamist militant group announced a major assault on the base in Halgan in the central Hiran region of the arid Horn of Africa nation, via its Telegram messaging platform.
For his part, Ethiopian government spokesman Getachew Reda dismissed a claim by al Shabaab that they had killed dozens of soldiers, while losing just 16 of their own fighters.
“There was an attempt by al-Shabaab to attack our forces in central Somalia but… our forces killed 101 militants and destroyed heavy weaponry,” Getachew said.
Moreover, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the attack on Ethiopian troops at a base of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in Halgan.
“The Secretary-General calls on the people of Somalia and their Government to remain resolute in the fight against Al Shabaab and extremism,” said a statement attributable to Ban’s spokesperson.
“He reiterates the United Nations’ unwavering support for their determined efforts to build a peaceful and stable Somalia,” the statement added.