Terror group al-Shabab publicly executes ‘British spy and four other spies’

The Somali militant group al-Shabab claims it killed a British spy yesterday.

Awale Ahmed Mohamed, 32, spied for MI6 after moving from Britain to Somalia to establish Islamic State, according to Mohamed Abu Abdalla, al Shabaab’s governor for the Jubba regions.

Islamists say they shot five men in the public execution on Tuesday.

Three of the men spied for the United States and helped guide drones to carry out strikes in Somalia, while a fourth spied for the Somali government, Mohamed Abu Abdalla added.

"Five of them were publicly shot to death this afternoon after they admitted espionage before the court," said Mohamed Abu Abdalla.

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

Al-Shabab once had control of the capital, Mogadishu, and still operates freely in many rural parts of southern Somalia.

The militants have on several previous occasions killed people it accused of spying.

Today’s news comes as a sign of the insurgents’ control of southern swathes of the country, even as authorities step up efforts to combat them.

Al Shabaab’s grip on the Horn of Africa nation has been weakening since it was pushed out of the capital by African Union peacekeepers in 2011, but the government and the US military are beefing up an offensive against it.

The US drones often carry out strikes against the Somali militants, with the US military saying it killed one militant in an air strike in southern Somalia over the weekend.

Al Shabaab is trying to overthrow Somalia’s weak, UN-backed government and impose a strict form of Islamic law.

The country has been torn apart by civil war since 1991, when clan warlords overthrew a dictator before turning on each other.

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