Al-Shabaab executes "CIA informant" as Somalia army repulses raid at military base
MOGADISHU, Somalia - A man believed to be spying for the US military was on Sunday publicly executed by Al-Shabaab militants, details have emerged, in an incident which comes amid increased airstrikes against the militants in the southern part of the country.
Yasin Mohamed Omar was killed by the militants in Middle Shebelle, a region under the control of the Al-Qaida linked group, and was not given a chance to defend himself against the accusations, reports indicate.
Usually, Al-Shabaab courts do not give victims chances to defend themselves and use forced confessions as a methodology to accomplish convictions in their quest to safeguard their interests, which include sustained attacks against military and government officials.
Sources privy to the heinous incident claim the victim was linked to the US spy agency CIA, which plays an indispensable role in tracking, locating and unleashing against the militants, in close cooperation with the military.
The incident took place in Aden Yabaal district of Middle Shebelle, a region that serves as a hideout for the militants. The region is within the Southwest state, which falls under the jurisdiction of both UPDF and Somali National Army [SNA] under the AMISOM scheme.
It could not be immediately be established how long the victim had been on Al-Shabaab radar but the militants usually rely on intelligence from its Amniyat wing, which gathers intelligence for the Somalia-based terror group.
The victim joins the growing list of martyrs, who have borne the brunt of Al-Shabaab executions in Somalia for the past one decade, and seemingly, many more to come due to rampant brutality of the terrorists within the war-torn nation.
US Africa Command, which constitutes of about 500 personnel in Nyamira, has been unleashing on the militants in central and southern Somalia in recent months, with Shebelle and Jubba regions being the most affected.
As of last month, the team had killed 60 militants from drone strikes alone, leaving hundreds critically injured. So far, at least 39 airstrikes have been launched against the militants by the US military, AFRICOM said.
In a statement last week, AFRICOM admitted killing two innocent civilians within the same period, a figure which was dismissed by Amnesty International as "fake and misleading". According to the human rights group, six civilians have been killed this year.
But it's within the same period that two senior Al-Shabaab operatives were eliminated through the drone strikes. The notable cases include that of Bashir Qorgab, who was linked to Manda Airfield raid in Kenya early this year, and Yusuf Jiis, another notorious terrorist killed in Bush Madina last month.
The joint operations by the US military, AMISOM and SNA forces have also led to the liberation of strategic towns in Somalia, with Janaale in Lower Shebelle being the most recent capture. Al-Shabaab has close to 6,000 active fighters in Somalia, a report by AFRICOM shows.
Elsewhere, Somali regional forces thwarted a late-night attack in their own military base in Afmadow, following intensive gunfight that lasted for a couple of hours, sources said. Afmadow is found in Jubaland and it's under the confines of SNA and KDF troops.
During the raid, the militants were overpowered and forced to retreat, officials said, adding that no casualty was reported. The attack comes barely a week after UPDF troops also repulsed another attack targeting their base in Barawe town.
Al-Shabaab militants have often targeted military bases in Somalia, a country struggles with the ghosts of civil war and inter-clan conflicts. In February, the militants ran over an SNA base in El-Salini, killing almost 25 soldiers according to police reports.
Both SNA and allied forces have been launching attacks against the militants within central and southern Somalia, with a move of eliminating the threat before December polls. Somalia is set to hold first-ever universal suffrage polls.
AMISOM is set to formally leave Somalia next year according to its tentative schedule after almost a decade of exploits. Although Al-Shabaab has been degraded considerably, it can still manage to wage small to large scale sporadic attacks.