Militants kill two for watching Eagles/Argentina’s match
From KUNLE SOLAJA and GBOLAHAN DADA, South Africa
Monday, June 14, 2010
Argentina’s Carlos Tevez (C) fights for the ball with Nigeria’s Chidi Odiah and Lukman Haruna during their Group B first round 2010 World Cup football match.
Islamist militants belonging to the Hezbal Islam rebel group have killed two football fans and arrested 10 others after attacking a house where World Cup fans were watching a hotly-contested game between Argentina and Nigeria in the Huruwaa neighborhood north east of the capital Mogadishu late on Saturday.
Residents say that heavily armed militants stormed a house where World Cup fans were secretly watching the football competition which was prohibited in Islamist controlled regions in Somalia.
“Two young men who tried to jump over the wall were shot and killed while 10 others including my husband and my teenage son were taken into Islamist custody in the village,” Halima Ahmed, a mother of five children said in a telephone conversation on Sunday morning.
Islamist militia leader Sheik Mohamed Abu Abdalla said that those in custody have broken and Islamic rule and will be dealt with in accordance with Islamic law. Prior to the World Cup opening, the Islamists in Somalia warned people against watching the World Cup, saying that it was not compatible with Islamic law and that those who were caught watching it would be brought before the Islamic court.
“Football descended from the old Christian cultures and our Islamic administration will never allow watching what they call the FIFA World Cup. We are sending our last warning to the people,” Sheik Abu Yahya Al Iraqi said, addressing crowds in the Suqa Holaha village north of Mogadishu, hours before World Cup kick off Friday.
President of the Somali Football Federation, Said Mahmoud Nur, who was reached for comment while in South Africa, said that he couldn’t talk about the matter because of security reasons.
Meanwhile, residents in the southern Jubba regions have sent a complaint letter to the Al Shabab administration in the regions demanding permission to watch the world’s largest sporting event. Reports say that representatives from the community including elders went to the Al Shabab administrative office in the southern key port town of Kismayo Saturday demanding an acceptance of watching the World Cup, but were denied and told that they would be arrested if they came back with a similar demand.