MOGADISHU, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- Somalia's Al Shabaab Islamist movement on Sunday executed two young men for alleged spying for the Somali government in the southern town of Marka.
The radical group has been waging insurgency for two years against the Somali government and the African Union peacekeeping forces in the capital Mogadishu.
After the execution was carried out in central Marka town, an official from the group told crowds of local people who gathered to watch the punishment that the men were convicted of spying for the Somali government after "they confessed to the crime."
"The men were executed because of apostasy and for spying for the apostate government. After three months of investigation and their confession to the crime they were executed in accordance with the Islamic law," said Sheikh Sultan, an Al Shabaab official in Marka.
Residents said that the young men were executed by firing squad of Al Shabaab fighters as crowds, mainly women and children, looked on the capital punishment.
The hardline Islamist group of Al Shabaab controls much of southern and central Somalia and usually carries out amputations, executions, and floggings of criminals and opposition individuals in areas under their control, including parts of the Somali capital.
The Islamist group, which is considered by the Somali government and the United States as a terrorist organization, declares a fight to establish an Islamic State in Somalia.