Al-Shabaab group has announced it executed six people whom it accused of being US spies in Somalia, adding that “they all confessed of working with enemy” but there was no concrete evidence given by the militant’s proxy media outlets.
Those executed, the group said, were five men and a woman who were believed to be working with locals to spy on Al-Shabaab activities across the country, thus “endangering our operations without justification”.
Al-Shabaab media outlets said the six were executed on Sunday in Saakow town within Middle Juba where the group has a firm grip. Saakow is used for training by the militants due to its proximity to Jilib town, the de facto headquarters for the Al-Shabaab militants.
Al-Shabaab judge claimed the six “confessed” to “spying” but didn’t release evidence to back up the allegation. Usually, the team subjects its captivates to a rigorous judicial process but the victims are not allowed to have legal representatives.
The US has been fundamental in the fight against Al-Shabaab within and outside Somalia, despite the fact that US Africa Command troops were withdrawn early this year. There were close to 700 US soldiers in Somalia, some of who were responsible for the training of the Danab Special Forces.
A couple of weeks ago, State Department announced the deployment of more soldiers to Kenya’s North Eastern region where they will help Kenya Defense Forces in the fight against the militants. Already the troops have been sighted in Wajir County in Kenya.
It’s in Saakow town where a US Africa Command airstrike left Bashir Qorab, a renowned Al-Shabaab operative, dead. Bashir was being sought for sponsoring and coordinating Al-Shabaab operations within and outside Somalia.
The execution comes in a day close to 55 people were killed by either Al-Shabaab or through executions engineered by authorities in Somalia. An Al-Shabaab attack left 34 people dead in Wisil town within the state of Galmadug, authorities said.
About two hours after the attack in Wisil, authorities in the regional state of Puntland executed 21 men accused of al-Shabab membership and terrorism, regional police commander Colonel Mumin Abdi Shire told the media.
The men were convicted in separate trials in the towns of Galkayo, Garowe, and Qardho this year.
Eighteen of the men were lined up next to a sandhill outside the town of Galkayo. Security forces facing them opened fire, executing them.
Separately, three other men were executed in Garowe and Qardho town. All of the executions were by firing squad. It is the largest single execution of al-Shabab militants in Somalia, observers say.
Security officials in Puntland accused the men of involvement in a series of assassinations and attacks, spanning more than 10 years, which claimed the lives of regional and community leaders, security officers, and journalists.
Al-Shabab is largely active in south-central Somalia. The group also has a small footprint in Puntland in the northeast. Puntland is a semi-autonomous state.