Muslim militants from the al Shabab group fighting the transitional government on September 23 "sliced the head off of Mansuur Mohammed, 25, a World Food Program (WFP) worker, before horrified onlookers of Manyafulka village, 10 kilometers (six miles) from the town of Baidoa,"reported Compass Direct News, a Christian news agency investigating reports of religious persecution.

WFP did not immediately comment, but it has described Somalia as "one of the most dangerous places in the world." The militants reportedly intercepted Mohammed and a WFP driver, who managed to escape, earlier in the morning. Compass Direct News quoted a source close to Mohammed’s family as saying he converted from Islam to Christianity in 2005.

The eyewitness, who apparently requested anonymity for security reasons, said militants gathered  villagers of Manyafulka, telling them that they would prepare a feast for them.


"Five masked men emerged, carrying guns, wielding Somali swords and dragging the handcuffed Mohammed. One recited the Quran as he proclaimed that Mohammed was a “murtid,” an Arabic term for one who converts from Islam to Christianity," Compass Direct News reported, citing the source.

Mohammed reportedly remained calm with an expressionless face, never uttering a word. One militant allegedly pulled back Mohammed’s head, exposing his face as he scraped his sword against his short hair as if to sharpen it. Another recited the Quran as he proclaimed that Mohammed was a "murtid," an Arabic term for one who converts from Islam to Christianity, the news agency said.

The Muslim militant reportedly announced that Mohammed was an infidel and a spy for occupying Ethiopian soldiers. As the chanting of “Allah Akubar [God is greater]" rose to a crescendo, one of the militiamen twisted his head, allowing the other to slit his neck, Compass Direct News quoted the source as saying. When the head was finally severed from the torso, the killers apparently cheered as they displayed it to the petrified crowd.


The militants allowed one of their accomplices to take a video of the slaughter using a mobile phone.

The video was reportedly later circulated secretly and sold in Somalia and in neighboring countries in what many see as a strategy to instill fear among those contemplating conversion from Islam to Christianity, Compass Direct News reported. BosNewsLife was not immediately able to view the video.

A similar incident reportedly took place in Lower Juba province of Somalia in July, when Christians found with Bibles were publicly executed. Their families fled to Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya, and such killings are forcing other Christians to flee to neighboring Kenya, Ethiopia, Christians said.  

Somali refugees to Kenya include Nur Mohammed Hassan, in Nairobi under UN High Commissioner for Refugees asylum. Despite of the protection, two weeks ago five Somali Muslims broke into Mohammed Hassan’s house and beat him and his family, he reportedly said. “On Oct. 14 five Muslims entered my house around 10 o’clock in the night and forced us out after beating us indiscriminately,” Mohammed Hassan said, adding that the youngest of his eight children suffers from a liver disease. "Thank God the police arrived immediately and saved our lives. For two days now we have been sleeping outside in the cold. We have been receiving police security, but for how long will this continue?"

Mohammed Hassan now lives in Eastliegh, Nairobi with his wife and children. He had fled Mogadishu after Muslims murdered his sister, Mariam Mohammed Hassan, in April 2005, allegedly for distributing Bibles in the capital.


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