Rise in Somali Piracy Contributes to Increase Worldwide
Rise in Somali Piracy Contributes to Increase Worldwide
Somalia's hardline Islamist group, al-Shabab, has publicly cut off hands and feet of three suspected robbers in the southern port city of Kismayo.

Witnesses said hooded al-Shabab fighters used machetes to cut off the limbs of the screaming men on Friday.

The militants amputated one hand and one foot of two of the men.  They cut off the third man's foot, after realizing one of his hands was disabled.

Reports on how many people turned out to watch the public amputations ranged from hundreds to thousands.

Al-Shabab spokesman, Sheikh Hassan Yaqub, said the region's Islamist court found the men guilty of robbing passengers in vehicles near Kismayo.  He said the amputations were carried out as punishment according to Sharia, a strict version of Islamic law.

Al-Shabab, which is trying to overthrow Somalia's moderate Islamic government, has imposed Sharia on much of the south and parts of Mogadishu.

The group has carried out beheadings, stonings and other amputations in the areas it controls.  

On Wednesday, members of al-Shabab in Mogadishu cut off the right hands of two men accused of theft and whipped another accused of rape.

 Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.