The Al-Shabab militant group has beheaded two brothers accused of spying for the Somali government and for having dealings with Ethiopian troops, relatives said.
They say the beheaded bodies of the two men, said to be 20 and 25 years old, were found Sunday in Raaso village, 60 kilometers south of Bulo Barde town in the central Somali region of Hiran. The headless body of a third unidentified man was found nearby.
The two brothers were arrested by al-Shabab militants in Buqaqable town last week, hours after Ethiopian and Somali government troops suddenly vacated the town.
Villagers told VOA Somali the men were in Buqaqable when the Ethiopian troops and Somali government forces seized it from al-Shabab on August 10.
Al-Shabab accused them of having dealings with the Ethiopian troops and spying for the Somali government, according to the locals.
Relatives who requested to remain anonymous say one of the men was a recent graduate of high school, while the other was unemployed.
On Saturday, Somali authorities said al-Shabab militants seized two towns in southern Somalia from retreating African Union forces, El Salindi and Kunturwarey.
Separately on Saturday, an AMISOM convoy was targeted with a car bomb outside the nearby town of Janaale.
Militants said they killed several soldiers in the attack, a claim that VOA could not verify.
AMISOM soldiers have been fighting al-Shabab in Somalia since 2007. AMISOM forces and Somali troops have recaptured large parts of Somalia from the al-Qaida-linked militants in recent years, but attacks have continued.