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Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Yusuf Ali Nur Martyred by al Shabaab

Al Shabaab Militants Execute Christian Leader in Somalia
Wednesday, 05 May 2010 18:25 Simba Tian

Islamic extremists run into 57-year-old Yusuf Ali Nur after battle with rival group.
NAIROBI, Kenya, May 5 (Compass Direct News) - Islamic militants yesterday killed another leader of the underground church movement in Somalia, sources said.

Before he was fatally shot on Tuesday (May 4) in Xarardheere, about 60 kilometers (37 miles) from Jowhar, 57-year-old Yusuf Ali Nur had been on a list of people the Islamic extremist al Shabaab suspected of being Christian, sources who spoke on condition of anonymity told Compass. Al Shabaab, said to have links with al Qaeda, has vowed to rid Somalia of Christianity.

The militants fighting the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in Mogadishu had been engaged in a two-hour battle with a rival rebel group, the Ahlu Sunna Waljamer, which had taken control of the Xarardheere area, before they came across Nur. Nur had lived in Xarardheere since leaving Jowhar in July 2009.

Eyewitnesses said that after al Shabaab took control of the area, they went from house to house looking for enemy fighters when they arrived at Nur's rented home at about 10:30 a.m. Sources said that upon finding Nur, one of the militants remarked, "Oh! This is Yusuf, whom we have been looking for," before they sprayed him with bullets at close range.

Nur is survived by his wife, whose name was withheld for security reasons, and three children, ages 11, 9 and 7.

This latest death comes after several execution-style murders of Somalis suspected of being members of a suppressed yet resilient underground faith movement in Somalia. A number of Christians have been beheaded by the radical Islamists out to topple the fledgling TFG and introduce a strict version of sharia (Islamic law).

Al Shabaab, which controls large parts of central Somalia, recently banned radio stations from playing music and outlawed bell ringing that signals the end of school classes "because they sound like church bells."

Nur, who had worked on a farm while in Jowhar, had long being monitored by al Shabaab, the sources said. After settling in Xarardheere, he became the head teacher of Ganane Primary School and also taught English. The al Shabaab militants object to the use of English, preferring Arabic, and even after relocating to Xarardheere Nur realized he was in danger of the militants finding him, sources said.

Ganane is a private school owned by wealthy Somali proprietors.
In 2009 Islamic militants in Somalia sought out and killed at least 15 Christians, including women and children. This year, on Jan. 1 al Shabaab members murdered 41-year-old Mohammed Ahmed Ali after the Christian had left his home in Hodan, on the outskirts of Mogadishu.

On March 15, al Shabaab rebels shot Madobe Abdi to death on March 15 at 9:30 a.m. in Mahaday village, 50 kilometers (31 miles) north of Jowhar. Abdi's death was distinctive in that he was not a convert from Islam. An orphan, Abdi was raised as a Christian
Advocacy group International Christian Concern has reported that three members of al Shabaab killed Somali Christian Mu'awiye Hilowle Ali in front of his home in Afgoye on March 23, executing him with close-range shots to his head and chest.

The transitional government in Mogadishu fighting to retain control of the country treats Christians little better than the al Shabaab extremists do. While proclaiming himself a moderate, President Sheikh Sharif Sheik Ahmed has embraced a version of sharia that mandates the death penalty for those who leave Islam.

The Rest @ Right Side NEws

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Iranian State Reporter Arrested for Arms Trafficking

Italy frees Iranians 'jailed over arms trafficking'

Italian anti-terrorist prosecutor Armando Spataro (right) views a selection of the weapons that were seized in March 2010. Italy has freed two Iranians who were arrested on suspicion of trafficking arms to the Islamic republic, according to Tehran's ambassador to Rome.

AFP - Italy has freed two Iranian men jailed since March on suspicion of trafficking arms to the Islamic republic but is keeping them under house arrest, Tehran's ambassador to Rome said on Friday.

Ali Damirchi-Lou and state television reporter Hamid Masoumi-Nejad were released from jail on Thursday and "placed under house arrest," Ambassador Mohammad Ali Hosseini told Fars news agency.

The Rest @ France24

Masoumi-Nejad's release was announced Thursday on state television by Mohammad Sharif Malekzadeh, who is charge of expatriate affairs, but there had been no immediate word on Damirchi-Lou's fate.

Masoumi-Nejad was freed "after efforts by the expatriate Iranian's council, the presidential office and the foreign ministry," Malekzadeh said.

Iran's ambassador to Italy also said that a Milan deputy prosecutor told him that "Masoumi-Nejad will be able to resume his reporting job although he is under house arrest." He did not elaborate.
The Italian news agency Ansa on Thursday confirmed that Masoumi-Nejad had been released and placed under house arrest, adding however he would be allowed to go to work.

Masoumi-Nejad -- who worked as a reporter for state television in Rome -- was arrested along with Damirchi-Lou and five Italian businessmen in Turin in March on suspicion of trafficking arms to Iran in violation of UN sanctions.

Tehran insists that the Iranian men are innocent and has repeatedly called for their release.
"We will keep our efforts until we secure their innocence verdict and complete freedom," ambassador Hosseini told Fars news agency.

Italian anti-terrorist prosecutor Armando Spataro said in March that the pair worked for Iran's secret services and that two other Iranians, believed to be in the Islamic republic, were sought in the same operation.

Italian police said the businessmen, receiving orders from Tehran, bought weapons in Europe, mainly from Germany.

They allegedly transported the arms through third countries such as Britain, Switzerland and Romania before shipping them to Iran using other companies as cover.

Some shipments passed via the Gulf state of Dubai, according to Italian police.

The scheme fell apart following a simple check by a Romanian customs officials, who confiscated 200 gun sights. Another 100 were seized in London, the police said.