Somali Militiamen Kill Two People Watching Banned World Cup Match

Radical Islamic militia fighters in central Somalia shot and killed two people at the screening of a banned World Cup soccer broadcast while dispersing the crowd of teenagers watching it, an independent radio station reported Wednesday.

The Islamic fighters, who have banned such entertainment, opened fire after the teenagers defied their orders to leave the cinema that was screening the Germany-Italy match, Shabelle Radio reported. It said the dead were a girl and the cinema owner.

CountryWatch: Somalia

Islamic fighters who wrested control of the Somali capital from warlords in June forbade movies and television entertainment in line with their strict interpretation of Islam. The Supreme Islamic Courts Council, originally called the Islamic Courts Union, has expanded its control to other parts of southern Somalia.

Its leader, Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, has spent the past weeks in central Somalia recruiting fighters in his clan's native region.

Somalia has been without an effective central government since the warlords turned on each other, carving much of the country into armed camps ruled by violence and clan law. Islamic fundamentalists have stepped into the vacuum, projecting themselves as an alternative military and political power.

They set up a militia force to enforce their interpretation of Islam and formed a court system that helped desperate Somalis settle disputes.