February 9, 2012
Islamic extremists from the rebel al Shabaab militia in Somalia beheaded a young Christian man on the outskirts of Mogadishu last month, Compass Direct News reports. Zakaria Hussein Omar, 26, who converted to Christianity seven years ago while living with relatives in Ethiopia, worked for a Christian humanitarian organization that al Shabaab banned last year. "He mentioned to me that his life was in danger when the [non-governmental organization] he worked for was banned by the al Shabaab," one of Omar's friends said. Omar's body was left lying nine miles from Mogadishu for about 20 hours before nomads found it and carried it into the city. He is survived by his wife, his parents, a brother and four sisters. Last September, al Shabaab beheaded another young Christian near the same area; the militant group, estimated to range between 3,000 and 7,000 members, seeks to impose sharia (Islamic law) in the country while the transitional government fights to retain control.