Mogadishu: Somali Islamist rebels have
beheaded at least 11 civilians in the capital in the past two
weeks, a campaign of terror that residents said on Friday is
designed to show the insurgency can still act in Mogadishu
after withdrawing from their bases there earlier this month.
"We wake up with beheaded bodies on the streets every
day," said Abdinur Marwan, who lives in a district of
Mogadishu called Hewila. "They call themselves Muslims while
doing what Allah banned! Everyone is trying to leave here
because people are being killed like goats."
The Islamist al-Shabab militia withdrew from their bases
in the Somali capital after being steadily pushed back by more
heavily armed African Union forces supporting the UN-backed
Somali government. The Islamists described the withdrawal as a
"tactical retreat" and said they would still carry out
operations in the capital.
Resident Afrah Abdikhayre said five decapitated bodies
were found in his Suqa Holaha area last week. He says two
beheaded men in Somali government uniforms and another three
headless bodies were found this week.
Resident Nur Sugow said al-Shabab beheaded a donkey cart
driver in the Yaqshid district. Al-Shabab frequently carries
out beheadings and amputations.
The militia also executed two men and a 16-year-old boy
by firing squad on Tuesday after accusing them of spying.
Residents some to terrified to give their names appealed to
the Somali government and AU troops to secure their
neighbourhood. Although al-Shabab has pulled back, individual
fighters are still active in the city and gunfire is still
Somalia has been without a functioning government since
1991 and at least five of its districts are suffering from