Somali woman killed for not wearing veil, relatives say

Al-Shabab fighters in  Mogadishu, Somalia (5 March 2012) Al-Shabab is fighting for an Islamic state in Somalia

Militant Islamists in Somalia have shot dead a Muslim woman for refusing to wear a veil, her relatives say.

Ruqiya Farah Yarow was killed outside her hut near the southern Somali town of Hosingow by gunmen belonging to the al-Shabab group, they say.

The militants had ordered her to put on a veil, and then killed her after returning and finding she was still not wearing one, the relatives said.

An al-Shabab spokesman denied the group had killed the woman.

Al-Shabab does not fully control the area where she was living, he added.

Vendors sell fresh goods at the Karan market, in Somalia's capital of Mogadishu on 30 June 2014 The capital, Mogadishu, is controlled by the weak UN-backed government

Relatives, who asked not to be identified for fear of reprisals, told the BBC that Mrs Yarow was killed at about 07:30 (04:30 GMT).

She was shot twice and died instantly, they added.

She is survived by her husband and children, the relatives said.

Al-Shabab, which controls much of southern and central Somalia, imposes strict rules of behaviour, including dress codes for men and women.

BBC Somalia analyst Mary Harper says the fact that al-Shabab has denied killing Mrs Yarow suggests that rogue elements within the group may have been responsible for her death.

It is also possible that al-Shabab wants to distance itself from the shooting because it is likely to provoke a strong public reaction, she says.

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