Al-Shabaab using the entire population of Baydhaba as a human shield

News and Press Release
Originally published

(Mogadishu 14th January, 2012) Reports reaching us from the residents of the city of Baydhaba 200km ( south/west) of Mogadishu are saying that the Al-Qaida supported terrorists of Al-Shabaab have ordered all the residents of the city, the young and the old, the men and the women that they cannot leave the city when the anticipated offensive by the Somali Army starts.

The announcement which came from a senior Al-Shabaab leader, threatened the entire population of the city with severe punishment and even executions, if they leave the city during the expected Somali Army’s attack.

As a consequence of the announcement, some families secretly started leaving the city before the fighting breaks out, according to the information from the residents.

The Deputy Minister of Information, H.E Abdullahi Bile Noor, upon hearing this latest Al-Shabaab move said, “This is outrageous. To use the population of an entire city, the size of Baydhaba, as a human shield is something that even no terrorist organization has ever attempted in the past. It seems there is nothing Al-Shabaab is ashamed of. In desperation they are sinking to new lows.”

“If anyone has ever doubted the true nature of Al-Shabaab, it is manifested clearly in this, their latest action. Their inhumanity to the Somali people has no bounds” the Minister continued.”

“ In response, the TFG, is ordering all the Army commanders in Gedo, Bakool and Bay regions to take the most extreme care in preserving the lives of the civilian population in Baydhaba, whom Shabaab denied the basic right of saving their lives and that of their families by leaving a war zone “ the minister concluded.