Somali khat protester shot dead
Islamist fighters in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, shot at a crowd angered
at shortages of the mild narcotic khat, killing one person, say eyewitnesses.
were protesting about loss of revenue since a ban on Kenyan flights to Somalia
on Monday, that has led to a shortage of imported khat.
have subsequently burned two big khat consignments which were flown in from
elsewhere this week.
courts have tried to outlaw khat since they rose to power in June.
of Islamic Courts (UIC) that now rules the capital says khat encourages immorality.
chewed by many Somali men – especially the gunmen who have fought for control
of the country for the last 15 years – was flown in from neighbouring Kenya.
banned all flights to Somalia, citing security fears.
were six flights a week from Nairobi to Mogadishu and services to three other
towns and many more khat flights each day.
protesters were burning tyres and throwing stones before shots were fired.
an injured man lying on the ground, he was bleeding profusely
Mogadishu resident Ali Suleiman
were demonstrating… [when] they opened fire on us," protester Nur Aden
Wajishe told AFP news agency.
eyewitnesses described seeing a person die of bullet wounds and several others
injured in the shooting.
13-year-old boy was killed," resident Ali Suleiman told Reuters news
saw an injured man lying on the ground, he was bleeding profusely," he
Hassan Barise in Mogadishu says a dusk-to-dawn curfew has been imposed on
of khat burned on Tuesday at an airport 50km south of Mogadishu was estimated
to be worth $40,000 and to have originated from Ethiopia, local media reports.
shipment was incinerated because it landed at Mogadishu’s main airport where
khat imports are not allowed, officials say.
have taken control of most of southern Somalia since seizing the capital in
residents have welcomed their rule as they have brought law and order to the
city after years of anarchy.
not been officially banned in the capital as it has by Islamist hardliners
in Kismayo, south of Mogadishu.
to the Union of Islamic Courts’ website, Kenya’s flight ban has seen mosque
attendance rise at prayer times.
parts of the country, Islamists have been closing public cinemas and, according
to some residents, enforcing strict dress codes.
are fears of a regional conflict starting in Somalia, as Ethiopia backs the
weak interim government based in the city of Baidoa and its rival Eritrea
is accused of arming the Islamists.
from BBC NEWS