By BosNewsLife Africa Service
MOGADISHU, SOMALIA (BosNewsLife)– Christians in Somalia were confronted with more violence Sunday, October 23, amid reports that a suspected Islamic militant blew himself up while earlier the militant al-Shabab group beheaded a 17-year-old Christian near the capital Mogadishu.
The African Union peace mission said the suicide bomber injured two AU peacekeepers. Peacekeepers blamed al-Shabab, a group linked to terror network al-Qaida-linked, which wants to establishan even more strict Islamic regime and targets what it considers “infidels” or a “person without Islamic faith” including Christians.
Sunday’s violence was also a reminder for Christians to be on high alert following new revelations that Al-Shabab beheaded last month a 17-year-old boy.
Guled Jama Muktar was killed by al Shabab militants September 25 in his home near Deynile, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the Somali capital, Christians said.
Al-Shabab fighters, who have vowed to rid Somalia of Christianity, reportedly monitoring Muktar’s family because they apparently held secret Bible meetings in their house. Witnesses said he was killed at home after his parents had left for work. The parents later buried their son and fled the area.
The family arrived in 2008 from neighboring Kenya, which has been sending troops to Somalia to help quell the al-Shabab, viewed as a regional threat.
At least more than two dozen Christians are believed have been killed in Somalia in recent years.
Somali Christians and human rights activists confirmed earlier to BosNewsLife that the body of Juma Nuradin Kamil, a kidnapped Christian who converted from Islam, was found decapitated near the southern town of Hudur on September 2.
He was apparently killed after three suspected members of the Islamic group al-Shabab pushed him into a car, according to witnesses.
“Islamic radicals kidnapped a Christian brother and then beheaded him. His decapitated body was discovered” by locals on a street, explained Jonathan Racho, the regional manager for Africa of advocacy group International Christian Concern (ICC).
BURIED IN SECRET
His body was reportedly buried in secret after it lay two days in the open aid as locals feared Islamic reprisals, BosNewsLife reported at the time.
Among earlier anti-Christian incidents this year was the reported April 18 murder in Shalambod town of 21-year-old Hassan Adawe Adan, a member of an underground Christian congregation. Two suspected al-Shabab fighters were blamed, Christians said.
In Warbhigly village on the outskirts of Mogadishu, a mother of four was killed for her Christian faith by al-Shabab in January, according to locals and investigators. Asha Mberwa, 36, was reportedly murdered when Islamists slit her throat in front of her fellow villagers.
Over 99 percent of Somalia’s nearly 10 million people are Muslims. The tiny Christian minority of perhaps thousands of people comprises many ethnic Bantus as well as humanitarian workers and expatriates, Christian aid groups say
While the government has pledged to crackdown on militants, Christian analysts have expressed concerns that even the United Nations-backed transitional administration of President Sheikh Sharif Sheik Ahmed supports a version of Islamic law that mandates the death penalty for all those who leave Islam.