Al-Shabab kills British spy in Somalia

Al-Shabab operates freely in many rural parts of southern Somalia

Al-Shabab operates freely in many rural parts of southern Somalia

Somali militant group al-Shabab says it has killed five men it accuses of spying – one of them from the UK.

According to a jihadi website, he had admitted giving information to British intelligence services about al-Shabab supporters living in the UK.

The five men, aged between 22 and 36, were shot dead in a public execution on Tuesday in an area under the control of the Islamist group.

Another was said to be working for the Somali government.

That individual is alleged to have attached a device to a vehicle in an al-Shabab convoy which had then helped American drones to carry out an air strike.

Al-Shabab told Reuters news agency that three of the men were US spies who had helped guide drones to carry out strikes in Somalia.

The UK, US and Somali governments have not yet commented on the reports.

The identity of the alleged British spy has not yet been confirmed, despite earlier reports that he was a British national.

 

local police say suspected al-Shabab militants shot dead two non-Muslim teachers at a school compound on Tuesday night in northern Kenya, close to the Somali border.

BBC correspondents say it is possible they were targeted for reasons of their religion, since the militant group has singled out Christians during previous attacks in Kenya.

Al-Shabab, which is part of al-Qaeda, was forced out of the capital, Mogadishu, in 2011 by a combination of Somali government forces and African Union troops but it still operates freely in many rural parts of southern Somalia, where it often enforces Islamic law, or Sharia.

This is not the first time it has killed people it accused of spying.

In December 2017, al-Shabab killed five men, among them a teenage boy, whom it accused of working for US and Kenyan intelligence.

As well as battling for control of Somalia, al-Shabab has staged terror attacks in some neighbouring countries.

 

In 2013 in Kenya, 67 people were killed in a mass shooting by al-Shabab militants at the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi.

 

The group was also behind Somalia’s deadliest bombing, in which at least 500 people were killed by a truck laden with explosives in Mogadishu last year.

There are 500 US troops in Somalia supporting the UN-backed government against the militants. A smaller number of British soldiers are also deployed there. -BBC

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