Somali Militants Execute Girl 'Spies'
Town ordered to watch teens' execution
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 29, 2010 2:38 AM CDT
Al-Shabab fighters conduct a military exercise in northern Mogadishu's Suqaholaha neighborhood, Somalia.    (AP Photo/ Farah Abdi Warsameh/FILE)

(Newser) – A hardline Islamic militia forced hundreds of townspeople to watch as they executed two teenage girls for spying. Members of al-Shabab, which controls much of southern Somalia, walked through the streets telling residents about the executions by loudspeaker before the blindfolded girls, ages 15 and 18, were shot by a squad of ten masked men, AP reports. Family members say the alleged spies were innocent girls from poor families.

The al-Shabab-appointed governor of the region warned that anybody trying to photograph the executions would have their hands cut off. He said dozens more executions are likely to follow. A tribal elder described the girls' trial as a sham. "There was no independent investigation," he said. "I think the execution was only meant to show the cruelty of al-Shabab militants so the residents in the region are terrified."