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Shebab executes two girls for ‘spying’

MOGADISHU | Somalia’s al Qaeda-inspired Shebab group publicly executed two teenage girls in the central town of Beledweyne on charges of spying, witnesses said Thursday.

A firing squad shot the pair in front of hundreds of local residents Wednesday afternoon, in the first known instance of such an execution of women accused of spying.

“These women were spying for the enemy and were arrested by mujahedeen” last week, Sheik Yusuf Ali Ugas, the insurgent group’s regional commander, told the crowd after the execution.

“After a long investigation, they confessed to their crimes,” he said, adding that dozens of other people were held at Beledweyne police station on the same charges and faced the same fate.

The weak central government’s information minister, Abdirahman Omar Osman, issued a statement condemning the executions. “This execution is yet another human rights abuse committed by the criminals. This act of killing innocent children does not have Islamic and humanitarian justifications,” the statement said.


Weapons ship sailed from India

LAGOS | An illegal shipment of military-grade armaments seized in Nigeria came from a ship that had just left India, officials said Thursday, as investigators continued to trace the weapons’ origins.

Wale Adeniyi, a spokesman for Nigeria’s Customs Service, said Thursday that the MV CMA-CGM Everest dropped off the weapons at Lagos’ busy Apapa Port in July. The 13 shipping containers remained unexamined until Tuesday, when authorities with Nigeria’s secretive State Security Service broke open the sealed boxes and discovered weapons that included 107 mm artillery missiles.

The Everest, a cargo ship registered in the Marshall Islands, is owned by CMA-CGM, a shipping company based in France. In a statement released Thursday, CMA-CGM said the containers holding the weapons were owned by the firm that shipped the them. The shipping company said the manifest for the weapons described the shipment as “packages of glasswool and pallets of stone.”

Mr. Adeniyi said the ship last stopped at Mumbai’s Jawaharlal Nehru Port before coming to Nigeria. He said security officials became suspicious of the containers as the shipment did not have proper documentation.

The origin of the weapons remains unclear, though the rockets and the boxes containing rifle rounds bore English words.

Authorities said the shipment also contained grenades, explosives and possibly rocket launchers.

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