Al-Shabaab Militants in Somalia Execute Woman Accused of Spying

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Mohamed Sheikh Nor

Al-Shabaab militants in southern Somalia executed by firing squad a woman accused of espionage, the Islamist group and a witness said.

The woman, named as Ruweydo Ibrahim, was shot dead in front of a crowd of hundreds of people in the town of Jilib, about 350 kilometers (217 miles) south of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu. Speaking to pro-al-Shabaab broadcaster Radio Andalus, an Islamist judge who wasn’t identified said an investigation revealed Ibrahim had spied for Ugandan troops, part of the African Union’s peacekeeping force in the country.

“They riddled her with bullets and blood gushed from her head and chest,” Nuur Iidow, a Jilib resident who witnessed the killing, said by phone. Ibrahim wasn’t represented by a lawyer to defend her against the charges, according to Sidow Hassan, who runs a local human rights organization.

Al-Shabaab have been fighting Somalia’s government since at least 2006 in their campaign to establish an Islamic state in the Horn of Africa nation. Somali government forces, backed by African Union soldiers, have made territorial gains against the al-Qaeda-linked Islamist fighters since forcing them to withdraw from Mogadishu three years ago.

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