21st August, 2013

Islamic extremists suspected to be rebel Al Shabaab militants have kidnapped a Christian mother of two young children in Somalia and threatened her husband because of their faith, her husband said.


Three masked men abducted Shamsa Enow Hussein, 28, on 5th August in Bulo Marer, Lower Shebelle Region, at 7pm outside her home after determining that she was a secret Christian, 31-year-old Mohamed Isse Osman told Morning Star News.


"I just heard screaming from my wife and the children as I approached my house," Osman said.


That night, his wife was able to send him a text message saying he should flee the area, he said.


"Please leave immediately because of what we believe," she said in the text. "They have abused me sexually saying I am an infidel."


Osman said he has received anonymous, threatening text messages from the kidnappers from a withheld number, including one reading, "Your wife has told us all about your Christian involvement and soon we shall come for you too."


A leader of the underground church in the undisclosed town to which Osman and his daughters, ages 3 and 5, have fled said Osman has not heard from his wife since her 5th August text message.


"Our two young daughters are crying for their mother," Osman told the church leader.


A resident of the Bulo Marer area whose name is withheld confirmed that Hussein was abducted but that local residents knew little else about it.


"What little we knew about Osman"s family was that they were not very committed to attending the mosque during Ramadan time," he said.


Somalis consider themselves Muslim by birth, and apostasy, or leaving Islam, is punishable by death.


Al Shabaab, said to have ties with Al Qaeda, reportedly has a base in Bulo Marer. The group has vowed to rid Somalia of Christians, who meet secretly due to persecution. Al Shabaab is battling the Somali government that replaced the Transitional Federal Government a year ago, on 20th August, 2012.

- Morning Star News