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Islamists behead 7 alleged spies

July 11, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Islamist fighters beheaded seven prisoners accused of abandoning the Muslim faith and spying for the government in the largest mass execution since the militants were pushed from power 2 1/2 years ago.

The public killings in the southwestern town of Baidoa followed weeks of fierce fighting as the Islamists tried to seize the capital, Mogadishu, amid mounting concerns about the influx of hundreds of foreign fighters.

The beheadings may be linked to the Shabab group's failure to take Mogadishu in a 2-month-long offensive, said a senior analyst at global intelligence company Stratfor. "Shabab is reacting to a setback," said Mark Schroeder.

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