By Patrick Mathangani in Dhobley, Somalia
Somalis on Saturday told horrific tales of life under Al Shabaab, a terror movement that has been tossed out of key towns liberated by Kenyaâs military following a week of intense military campaign.
As the first accounts out of western Somalia filtered through, Kenyaâs military conducted air strikes on Munarani area north of Oddo, hitting one of al Shabaabâs command centres. Kenyan and TFG forces also advanced beyond Oddo town, which was captured on Friday.
The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development also called on the international community to impose a blockade on the port of Kismayu to counter Al Shabaab and strangle their source of income. Dobley hospital in Somali that had been destroyed by Al Shabaab group. Picture: Maxwell Agwanda
Dobley hospital in Somali that had been destroyed by Al Shabaab group. Picture: Maxwell Agwanda
Residents of Dobley town narrated to this writer how women were being forced to marry Al Shabaab fighters, and were threatened with beheading if they did not comply. Members of the group, who said they were fighting for their religion, seized buildings and stocks in shops.
Dobley, which sits in the middle of an expansive, sun-scorched scrubland near the border town of Liboi, was liberated with the help of Kenyan troops.
They had beheaded men and cut off the limbs of people who were suspected of stealing, residents said.
"Theyâd force us to pray," Mohammed Abdi, 26, said on Saturday.
"We had no freedom. We are Muslim and know when to pray, but the militants were saying we must obey their orders."
Now, after the town was recently grabbed from the militia through the help of Kenyan forces, Abdi is free to do things his way.