Somali Islamists kill two for watching World Cup

Published: Jun 15, 2010 16:43 Updated: Jun 15, 2010 16:43 

MOGADISHU: Somali Islamist militants killed two people and arrested dozens of 
others for breaking a ban on watching the World Cup on television, residents 

They said the masked fighters from the Hizbul Islam group raided houses on 
Sunday and Monday in the Afgoi district, 30 km (19 miles) south of the capital 
Mogadishu, after hard-line Islamist groups banned Somalis from watching the 
tournament. "Hizbul Islam killed two people and arrested 35 others, all World 
Cup fans," Ali Yasin Gedi, vice-chairman of the Elman rights group, told 
Reuters on Tuesday. "Islamists unexpectedly entered houses in Afgoi district 
and then fired (at) some people who tried to jump over the wall to escape" he 
added. Hizbul Islam and another group, al Shabaab, which is widely seen as 
Al-Qaeda's proxy in the region, control large swathes of the country and much 
of the capital.

The groups enforce their own strict interpretation of Islam, routinely banning 
sport, music and dancing.

"Hizbul Islam unexpectedly knocked on our doors. They jumped over our wall. It 
was midnight and my two sons and others from the neighborhood were watching the 
World Cup," resident Ismail Sidow said. Some residents in Islamist-controlled 
areas are furtively watching the world's biggest sporting event, which is being 
staged in Africa for the first time, using makeshift satellite dishes to 
capture foreign broadcasts from South Africa. "The first goal of the World Cup 
(scored) by South Africa is itself very great - we should be proud of it," said 
Mohamed Muhidiin Xute, a member of Somalia's Football Federation. A three-year 
insurgency in the anarchic Horn of Africa nation has left 21,000 people dead 
and forced 1.5 million from their homes. Only small pockets of the capital 
remain in the hands of a Western-backed government and African Union 

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