Sunday, February 20, 2011

Hardline Somali militants amputate the hands of 2 accused thieves

MOGADISHU, Somalia — Hardline Islamists from Somalia's most dangerous militant group amputated the hands of two men on Saturday as punishments for accusations of theft, witnesses and officials said.
Masked men in the town of Walaweyn cut off the hand of Abdirashid Saleban Hamud, a teenager convicted by an Islamic "court" of breaking into a house and stealing currency worth $30, said Abdinur Hussein, a witness. The self-described judge, Sheik Ayub, said the man admitted the charges against him.
On the outskirts of Mogadishu the militants amputated the hand of Ali Hashim, who also was accused of theft. Witness Salman Abdirahman said Hashim screamed and fell unconscious during the punishment.
The amputations carried out by the group al-Shabab are not traditional punishments in Somalia, and they show the influence of hardline foreign fighters from the Middle East who are part of the group's leadership.
Somalia has not had a functioning government in two decades

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