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Friday, September 7, 2012

Al-Shabaab desecrates corpses as allied forces close in on Kismayo

By Adnan Hussein in Mogadishu

September 04, 2012
Resentment is sweeping across the city of Kismayo after al-Shabaab militants dragged the bodies of what they say are Somali and Kenyan soldiers through a central square Saturday morning (September 1st).
Dhofo Saeed Hassan, a 43-year-old mother of eight, said al-Shabaab forced her and tens of other families out of their homes in the Fanole area to look at bodies being dragged by a car. Al-Shabaab said the bodies were casualties of a bloody battle in Miido, which Somali and African Union forces liberated from the militants on Friday.
"They showed us four bodies in military uniforms -- two of them were from the Somali National Army while the other two were Kenyan soldiers," Hassan told Sabahi.
Ahmed Hassan Garad, a 26-year-old juice vendor, said al-Shabaab forced residents to close down businesses and schools in order to gather them in Kismayo's central square to watch them drag the bodies through the streets.
Somali government and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) officials said last week that troops have nearly surrounded the key port city, which al-Shabaab has controlled for the past five years.
Garad said Somali tribal leaders, clerics and human rights activists have condemned al-Shabaab's heinous crimes as a violation of the sanctity of human life and dignity.
"Al-Shabaab has resorted to inhuman and immoral acts…that are far removed from Islam and civilised humanity," Garad told Sabahi.
Kismayo resident Najma Nuh Ibrahim said she saw an al-Shabaab member filming a car dragging the bodies of alleged Kenyan and Somali troops.
"It was a horrible and tragic scene because it is not our tradition to drag the body of a deceased human, blessed with God's grace," she told Sabahi. "For every human that has any morals on the face of this earth, this is a sad and painful tragedy and is a shameful act coming from a fundamentalist, barbaric and backward group that does not know the meaning of the words 'human' or 'humanity'."
"The residents of Kismayo are not happy with the crimes committed by al-Shabaab, which is notorious for shedding human blood and whose leaders are complicit in murders, kidnappings and anonymous assassinations," she said. "Victims sometimes go missing with their fate remaining forever unknown."

Al-Shabaab's twisted and criminal methods

Awade Abdullahi Gabane, a 52-year-old businessman who transports goods between Kismayo and the nearby village of Bulo Haji, said al-Shabaab victimises citizens of Kismayo and subjects them to indiscriminate violence, trying to reach their objectives through twisted and criminal methods.
Gabane told Sabahi that Islam is innocent of such extremism, labelling the practice of dragging and dishonouring bodies as takfiri. Islam requires the decent burial of deceased persons, he said, and condemns torturous or disrespectful acts.
After the battle in Miido, AMISOM said it killed 36 al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab militants.
Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir announced on Saturday that five KDF soldiers were missing, and three had been flown to Dobley for medical attention. Three of the missing soldiers were found on Sunday, he said, while the whereabouts of the other two remain unknown.
Journalist Faiza Shire Ali said al-Shabaab considers the Kenyan army to be an occupying force, even though the African Union and the Somali Transitional Federal Government reached an agreement in March to merge thousands of Kenyan forces under the AMISOM umbrella.
"The enemies of peace have been losing several strategic locations, including the coastal city of Marka, the capital of Lower Shabelle," she told Sabahi. "They have also been suffering repeated setbacks as well as tragedies and pain inflicted upon the leaders of the movement who have been forced to change their sleeping places every night as they move from one village to another," she said.
"We can see them peering down an abyss as they fall, one after the other, throughout various parts of the country until they are captured by the intelligence services and locked up in the prisons of Mogadishu, Beledweyne and Bosaso," Ali said.

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