30 June 2013

Somalia: Aweys Arrested in Mogadishu, Al-Shabaab Denies 'Execution' of Leaders

Photo: Hassan Mahamud Ahmed/IRIN
Members of the militant Al-shabab in southern Somalia.

Somali security forces have detained senior al-Shabaab leader Hassan Dahir Aweys in Mogadishu after he was transferred from the Himin and Heeb region Saturday (June 29th).

Aweys, who surrendered to Himan and Heeb authorities Tuesday, had reportedly agreed to talks with federal government officials about his fate, but Interior and National Security Minister Abdikarim Hussein Guled instead ordered his arrest upon arrival, Somalia's Hiiraan Online reported.

"The government has broken its promises and arrested Sheikh Aweys and his delegation, and they also humiliated the government lawmakers who helped him come to Mogadishu and some of them are now in prison with him," said Yusuf Mohamed Siyad, a member of the same Ayr sub-clan as Aweys and who arrived in Mogadishu with him, according to AFP.

Also on Saturday, al-Shabaab confirmed the deaths two of its leaders -- Ibrahim al-Afghani and Sheikh Maalim Burhan -- but denied that they were executed, AFP reported.

Family members, including al-Afghani's sister, said they were arrested and then executed, but al-Shabaab said they were killed during a gun battle.

"We deny reports that the men were killed after capture," al-Shabaab spokesman Abdulaziz Abu Musab told AFP. "The two men were killed in a shootout when they were resisting arrest on court orders."

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