Somalia - South Africa

Two killed for watching World Cup in Somalia

Reuters

At least two men were killed and three more were injured on Wednesday night after unidentified assailants hurled a grenade at a house in an area south of the Somali capital Mogadishu.

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It is believed that those inside were targeted for watching the Spain-Germany World Cup clash, says Shafi’ Mohyaddin Abokar at the Somali Sports Press Association.

Shafi'i Mohyaddin, Mogadishu

“A teenage boy died on the spot and the other one perished from his serious wounds at the hospital hours after the attack,” Abdalla Aweys, a resident in the Elasha Biyaha neighbourhood said Thursday in a telephone conversation.

“I was one of those who were watching the game, every one of us ran when the explosion occurred, praise be to Allah so that I am now safe and sound,” Abdalla added.

At least five people have been killed since last month apparently for watching the World Cup, says Mohyaddin Abokar. He said that many more are being held by Islamists for allegedly watching the matches.

Shafi’i Mohyaddin, first vice-president and head of international relations with the Somali Sports Press Association, said despite the dangers, people will still watch the World Cup final.

"Everybody says 'I must watch, whatever it takes,'" he said.

Hezb al-Islam and its Al Qaeda-inspired allies from the Shebab movement have banned Somalis in the areas they control from gathering to watch the football World Cup, an activity they deem "un-Islamic".

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