"Islamic extremists from the rebel Al Shabaab militia last week publicly beheaded a mother of two girls and her cousin in southeastern Somalia after discovering they were Christians, sources said.
In the port town of Barawa in the Lower Shebelle Region, the extremists on March 4 called residents to the town centre to witness the executions of the 41-year-old mother, Sadia Ali Omar, and her 35-year-old cousin, Osman Mohamoud Moge, the sources said.
Before killing them, an Al Shabaab militant announced, “We know these two people are Christians who recently came back from Kenya – we want to wipe out any underground Christian living inside of mujahidin [jihadists’] area,” according to an area resident whose name is undisclosed for security reasons.
Omar’s daughters, ages 8 and 15, were witness to the slaughter, sources said, with the younger girl screaming and shouting for someone to save her mother. A friend helped the girls, whose names are withheld, to relocate to another area.
“We are afraid that the Al Shabaab might continue monitoring these two children and eventually kill them just like their mother,” the area resident said.
The militants from Al Shabaab – which has vowed to rid the country of the Christian fellowships, which meet secretly as leaving Islam in Somalia is punishable by death – became suspicious of Omar and Moge due to their irregular attendance at Friday mosque prayers, sources said.
“The two people who were killed on many occasions did not take Friday prayers seriously, especially Omar, who claimed that she was praying in her house,” another area resident said.
Another source noted of Al Shabaab, “They have some spy everywhere in Somalia.”
Somalis who have lived in Christian-majority Kenya are especially suspect. The sources said Omar lived in the Nairobi suburb of Eastleigh for seven years; her husband became ill in 2011 and returned to Somalia, where he died. Omar and her cousin Moge, who helped take care of her daughters, left Kenya for Somalia in January 2013.
Barawa reportedly came under Al Shabaab control in 2009. In October 2013, a U.S. Navy SEAL team raided a beachside house in the town in an unsuccessful search for Al Shabaab leader Mukhtar Abu Zubeyr."