Saturday, July 18, 2009
MOGADISHU — Two French agents held by rebels in Somalia will be tried soon under Islam's Sharia law, an official of the radical Islamic Shebab rebel group told AFP.
"The men were caught assisting the apostate government and their spies, so that they will soon be tried and punished under the Sharia law, they will face the justice court for spying and entering Somalia to assist the enemy of Allah," a senior Shebab officer told AFP on condition of anonymity.
"The decision about their fate will depend on the outcome of the Islamic court that will hear the charges against them," he added.
The two agents were snatched at gunpoint from their hotel in central Mogadishu early Tuesday. They are being held by Islamic insurgents battling to overthrow Somalia's transitional government supported by the international community.
On Friday Somalia's Social Affairs minister Mohammed Ali Ibrahim told a French news channel they were being held by the hardline Shebab militia, who may be seeking the freedom of Somali pirates jailed in France.
"We're heading into tortuous bargaining for their freedom, and it could take a while," he warned.
Foreigners are regularly kidnapped in Somalia, which has been mired in civil war since 1991, and usually freed in return for a ransom.
On Saturday, three foreign aid workers were reported kidnapped overnight in a Kenyan town close to the Somali border by armed men, who took them into Somalia, a Somali government official told AFP.
The nationalities of the aid workers and the organisation they worked for were not immediately known.