SOMALIA: Al Shabaab Apprehends 30 Women For Selling Khat

Monday, November 29, 2010
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Eastern Africa
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Kismayo, Somalia (AHN) - Somali extremist group Al Shabaab arrested 30 women for selling the plant drug khat inside Kismayo, the regional capital of Lower Jubba in southern Somalia, witnesses said Monday.

Militants of the group detained the women late Sunday after search operations in the town, according local residents, adding that all were taken into custody.

Officials from the terror group have already banned selling khat inside the towns they control, but locals confirmed the apprehended khat traders had been selling it in the town stealthily.

An Al Shabaab official in the town said that they will keep on search operations until khat traders stop selling the plant leaves, which contain a stimulant similar to amphetamine. The consumption of khat is considered un-Islamic by some leaders of the group.

On Friday, militants loyal to the extremist group set fire to more than 15 bags of khat valued at more than $1,000 in the Dhobley district in the same region. The khat trade in Somalia brings in about $300,000 a day.