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More than 100 people detained in Al Shabaab held town

Hiiraan Online
By Shafi’i Mohyaddin
Friday, January 24, 2014

Mogadishu, Somalia (HOL) - AL Shabaab fighters have arrested more than 100 people in the south western town of Bardere during house to house search operations in the city, residents said here on Friday.

Eye witnesses who were reached for comment by the local media said that most of the detained people are the town’s business community accused by the group of setting a fire to residential houses in the area.

“More than 100 people have been arrested and they are mostly being accused of being responsible for the burning of residential houses in the town recently” said eye witnesses who talked to local media on condition of anonymity for fear of their security.

According to residents, heavily armed men from the group carried out the arrest operations which targeted on specific houses and business buildings. The detained include well known Khat traders accused of neglecting the group’s Khat ban in the region.

Khat is the green narcotic leaf planted in Kenya and Ethiopia. Nearly 20 flights carrying the drug arrive in Somalia daily.

The group hasn’t yet spoken about the fate of the detained people. Bardere is one of the two main districts in the Gedo region which still remain in the hands of Al Shabaab fighters.

Bardere is one of the main targets of the Ethiopian troops who joined the African Unions peace keeping mission in Somalia (AMISOM) this week, according to Somali government officials.

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