Islamist rebels demand jewellery for holy war

Shabaab-rebels.jpg

Rebels order women to give up their earrings and rings for the cause.

Islamist rebels have ordered traders in southern Somalia to hand over jewellery and cash for a holy war against African Union peacekeeping troops and the Somali government, as reported by Reuters.

Women in the southern market town of Baidoa were ordered by men to give up their earrings and rings, which they placed on a sheet on the ground.

The items were demanded the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab group, which enforces a harsh version of sharia law in the areas it controls.

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The group – whose name means ‘the youth’ in Arabic’ – has banned movies, musical ringtones, dancing at wedding ceremonies and watching soccer.

Al Shabaab has been announcing the fund raising drive in mosques and, in addition to jewellery, has been requesting donations of cash from local businesses, amounting to as much as $150,000 from pharmacies operating in a single market.

Mogadishu market trader Mohamed told Reuters: "Al Shabaab needs more than a million dollars from this market. Now we the traders are discussing in groups how to donate the cash.

"Previously, each pharmacy used to pay $30 per month but now a hell lot of money is required. Who can refuse to pay?"

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