Monday, April 02, 2012
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — One of al-Shabab's senior leaders has lashed out at the group's brutality against civilians, but a Somali government spokesman is dismissing that outburst, calling the leader a "murderer."
Sheik Hassan Dahir Aweys said over the weekend that killing civilians in the name of Islam is wrong in a message apparently intended for more hard-line members of the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab.
Despite the fact Aweys' words appeared to cut against al-Shabab, Somali government spokesman Abdirahman Omar Osman on Monday did not welcome them. He said that Aways is also a murderer who deceives children and killed them.
Al-Shabab declared earlier that it had formally joined al-Qaida. It is trying to apply an austere version of Islam that has caused the group's popularity to plunge.