Mogadishu: Somalia`s al Qaeda-inspired
Shebab group publicly executed two teenage girls in the
central town of Beledweyne on charges of spying, witnesses
said on Thursday.
A firing squad shot the pair in front of hundreds of
local residents’ yesterday afternoon, in the first known
instance of such an execution over spying charges against
"These women were spying for the enemy and were
arrested by mujahideen (holy warriors)" last week, Sheikh
Yusuf Ali Ugas, the insurgent group`s regional commander, told
the crowd after the execution.
"After a long investigation, they confessed to their
crimes," he added.
Residents gathered at the Shebab`s headquarters in
Beledweyne, which lies near the Ethiopian border and witnessed
heavy fighting between the insurgent group and pro-government
forces earlier this month.
"The group informed the population that a punishment
was going to be carried out in public on two women they
claimed had been found guilty of spying," said a resident, who
gave his name only as Ali.
"I didn`t know they were planning to shoot them. The
two girls were sitting on the ground with their hands tied
behind their back. Then a group of fighters covered their
faces and shot them from behind," he said.
"It was shocking, the girls were so young. They looked
so desperate but nobody could help them," Ali added.
Elders and residents gave conflicting information on
the girls` ages but both of them were believed to be 17 or 18.
"Everyone was very sorry for the young girls who were
killed in front of hundreds," said Maryam Ahmed, another
The Shebab, listed as a terrorist organisation by the
United States, executed two men on spying charges outside
Mogadishu earlier this month.