By BosNewsLife Africa Service
MOGADISHU, SOMALIA (BosNewsLife)-- Muslim militants have beheaded two young boys in Somalia because their Christian father refused to hand over information about a church leader, a Christian news agency reported Wednesday, July 1.
Compass Direct News said militants from the Islamic extremist group al Shabaab were still searching for 55-year-old Musa Mohammed Yusuf, after killing his two young sons in February.
His sons, Abdi Rahaman Musa Yusuf, 11, Hussein Musa Yusuf, 12, and Abdulahi Musa Yusuf, 7, were apparently abducted February 21 during an al Shabaab raid on their family home in Yonday village, 30 kilometers (19 miles) from Kismayo in Somalia.
Soon after, two of them were beheaded, while the youngest son apparently managed to reach the home again, crying. “I watched my three boys dragged away helplessly as my youngest boy was crying,” said Yusuf’s wife Batula Ali Arbow in published remarks. “I knew they were going to be slaughtered.”
The incident happened a day after her husband, who leads an underground church, was forced to flee as militants interrogated him about his relationship with Salat Mberwa, another church leader. Mbwerwa, who supervises a 66-member congregation, reportedly taught Yusuf about Christianity.
Yusuf eventually managed to reach a Kenyan refugee camp where he later met the surviving family members, Christians said. However they apparently were forced to leave their 80-year-old grandmother behind after burying the two sons. Her whereabouts were unknown Wednesday July 1.
Mberwa said his 28-year son was attacked in October last year by al Shabaab militia, but he survived the gun shot. The family was believed to stay in a Kenyan refugee camp, Wednesday, July 1.
Wednesday's reports came amid mounting concerns among Christians in Somalia about their future. On Tuesday, June 30, Somalia's Islamist rebels threatened to attack neighboring Ethiopia after repeated witness reports that Ethiopian troops were back in the failed Horn of Africa state from where they withdrew in January.
Ethiopian troops invaded Somalia in 2006 to oust an Islamist movement from the capital in which new President Sheik Sharif Ahmed played a role. That sparked an Islamist insurgency which is still raging despite their withdrawal.
"I'm telling the people that it's time we attacked Ethiopia, who are our Christian neighbours," Sheikh Abdiqani Mohamed Yusuf said on a radio station controlled by the al Shabaab rebels in the southern port of Kismayu in comments monitored by Reuters news agency.
"We have to invade their country, like they did to our country. This is our best chance," he said. "The people should be ready to take part in jihad."