al-Shabab says it has killed British spy

Somali militant group, al-Shabab, says it has killed five men it accuses of spying, including one British national.

The five men, aged between 22 and 36, were shot dead in a public execution on Tuesday in an area under the control of the Islamist group.

According to a jihadi website, the Briton had admitted giving information to British intelligence services about al-Shabab supporters living in the UK.

Another was said to be working for the Somali government.

That individual is alleged to have attached a device to a vehicle in an al-Shabab convoy which had then helped American drones to carry out an air strike.

Al-Shabab told Reuters news agency that three of the men were US spies who had helped guide drones to carry out strikes in Somalia.

The UK, US and Somali governments have not yet commented on the reports.

Separately, local media report that suspected al-Shabab militants have killed two teachers and set fire to a staff room at a school in northern Kenya, close to the Somali border.

Al-Shabab, which is part of al-Qaeda, was forced out of the capital, Mogadishu, in 2011 by a combination of Somali government forces and African Union troops but it still operates freely in many rural parts of southern Somalia, where it often enforces Islamic law, or Sharia.

This is not the first time it has killed people it accused of spying.

In December 2017, al-Shabab killed five men, among them a teenage boy, whom it accused of working for US and Kenyan intelligence.

As well as battling for control of parts of Somalia, al-Shabab has staged terror attacks across East Africa.

 

In 2013 in neighbouring Kenya, 67 people were killed in a mass shooting by al-Shabab militants at the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi.

 

The group was also behind Somalia’s deadliest bombing, in which at least 500 people were killed by a truck laden with explosives in Mogadishu last year. —BBC

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