NAIROBI, Kenya – Somalia's
al-Shabab Islamic extremist group says it has executed four men accused
of spying for the British, Djibouti and Somali intelligence agencies.
announced the killings on its Andalus radio station on Sunday, saying
they were carried out by a firing squad in a public square in Kamsuma, a
town in the Lower Jubba region.
The group's spokesman said its
recent spate of attacks on hotels in the capital, Mogadishu, have been
part of its drive against Somali intelligence agents and other
government officials who he said were staying at the hotels.
don't attack every hotel in Mogadishu, but those specific ones (hotels)
attacked by Mujahideen fighters have got specific features meriting
them for attacks," said Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage, on the rebels' radio
"A standard public hotel that civilians stay in is not
protected by blast walls and soldiers. These apostates have got no
distinct offices, and most of those men were killed at hotels they use
as their offices," he said, apparently referring to Somali government
Mogadishu has seen series of attacks by al-Shabab in
recent weeks, highlighting challenges facing the Somali government,
which said recently that it is considering imposing a state of emergency
in Mogadishu to try to contain the attacks.
Rage also said that
the recent withdrawal of Kenyan forces, who are part of the
multinational African Union forces in Somalia, from villages were made
as result of increased attacks and deaths and budget constraints faced
by the Kenyan government.
Al-Shabab, which is al-Qaida's East
Africa affiliate, has fought for years to impose a strict version of
Islam in the Horn of Africa nation. Despite losing territory in recent
years, the extremist group continues to carry out deadly attacks in many
parts of the country, especially in Mogadishu. A truck bomb there in
October 2017 killed more than 500 people.