Somali militant group al-Shabab says it has killed five men it accuses of spying, including one British national.

The five men were shot dead in a public execution on Tuesday in an area under the control of the Islamist group.

According to a jihadi website, the Briton admitted giving the British foreign intelligence service, MI6, information about al-Shabab supporters living in the UK.

Another was said to be working for the Somali government.

Al-Shabab told Reuters news agency that three of the men were US spies who had helped guide drones to carry out air strikes in Somalia.

The UK, US and Somali governments have not yet commented on the reports.

How big a threat is al-Shabab?

Al-Shabab, which is part of al-Qaeda, was forced out of the capital, Mogadishu, in 2011 by a combination of Somali government forces and African Union troops but it still operates freely in many rural parts of southern Somalia, where it often enforces Islamic law, or Sharia.

This is not the first time it has killed people it accused of spying.

In December 2017, al-Shabab killed five men, among them a teenage boy, whom it accused of working for US and Kenyan intelligence.

Local media report that suspected al-Shabab militants have also killed two teachers and set fire to a staff room at school in northern Kenya, close to the Somali border.

Control map of Somalia

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