The Nation (Nairobi)

Kenya: Al Shabaab Sambusa Ban 'Linked to Symbol'

Somali militant group al Shabaab may have banned the making and sale of samosa, a popular snack in the war-torn country, because of its shape, linking it to a Christian symbol.

The ban on samosa, a pastry often stuffed with minced meats and vegetables, comes amid a devastating famine that is sweeping across the country.

No reasons were given for the bizarre move, announced by militants in vehicles mounted with loudspeakers.

However, residents of a south Mogadishu settlement and Afgoye, a town 30 kms south of the capital where the ban was imposed speculated that the Islamists may have associated the triangle-shaped snack with a symbol of Christianity that is not compatible with their strict version of Islam.

In the past, the group, which is fighting to overthrow the Transitional Federal Government, has banned watching football on TV and playing music on radio.

It has also ordered men to grow beards and women not to wear bras.

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