British headteacher shot dead in Somalia in raid on school by Islamist militia
· Targeted for converting to Christianity, widow claims
· Founder of English project among four killed
“The school he established is run in a house which is also where he lives – there are various disgruntled factions running around and because he is a convert to Christianity from Islam then he is a target. They raided the house in the middle of the night and murdered all four people there.”
Xan Rice and Helen Pidd
April 15, 2008 Somalia (The Guardian) A British headteacher who was shot dead in Somalia by Islamist insurgents may have been targeted because he was a Christian convert, his wife said yesterday.
Daud Hassan Ali, 64, was killed outside the Hiran community education project English school in Beledweyne in central Somalia late on Sunday night, along with Rehana Ahmed, 33, a fellow British Somali teacher. She was reported to have been shot in the head.
From her home in Birmingham yesterday, his wife, Margaret, 64, said that her husband might have been targeted because he had converted to Christianity. She said: “The school he established is run in a house which is also where he lives – there are various disgruntled factions running around and because he is a convert to Christianity from Islam then he is a target. They raided the house in the middle of the night and murdered all four people there.”
Yesterday, one of Ali’s two sons, Robleh Tinning, 32, said: “He wasn’t trying to convert anyone, he was just trying to teach English. He always had a grand project on the go. If something needs doing, someone has to stand up and say they are going to do it and that is what he did. He was a doer, not a moaner.”
Ali kept a blog for supporters on developments at the school. His last post, on March 30, expressed concern about night-time raids by militant fighters.
The Shabab have launched an insurgency against the Ethiopian forces occupying Somalia and in recent weeks have been flexing their muscles with hit-and-run attacks on towns throughout south and central Somalia .