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Somalis celebrate Islamists’ retreat
Prime minister hails ouster of al-Shabab militants from Mogadishu
Question of the Day
MOGADISHU, Somalia — Thousands of Somalis attended a rally Tuesday to celebrate the withdrawal of Islamist rebels from bases in the Somali capital, even as the militants executed three men accused of spying in a de facto court.
“Thanks to our army, AMISOM and our people,” he said, using the abbreviation for the African Union Mission in Somalia. “Our troops made those achievements despite difficulties they face, including lack of salary and camps. Within a short period, we shall get rid of [al-Shabab] from the country.”
“We are free and started a new comfortable life when [al-Shabab] left us,” said demonstrator Makay Aden.
“We pray they will not come back. They killed many of our people. Beheaded bodies were scattered on our streets when they were here.”
Elsewhere in Mogadishu, Islamist judge Sheik Omar Al-Qadi said two men and a 16-year-old boy were executed for spying.
He said they were killed by firing squad in the northern neighborhood of Deynile.
Witness Ali Abdulqadir Yusuf said the militia summoned residents with a megaphone to watch and masked men tied the three to poles before executing them.
Al-Shabab frequently carries out public executions or amputations.
Somalia has not had a functioning central government for more than 20 years.
It is refusing to allow many aid groups access to their territory although the U.N. says some areas are suffering from famine.
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