Somalia's Shabaab claims it killed five foreign spies

Somalia-based Al-Shabaab jihadists have claimed to have executed five men they said were spies working for US, British and Somali intelligence services, a monitor that tracks extremists reported Wednesday.

The five men, aged between 22 to 36, were killed in the southern Somali town of Jilib on Tuesday, the US-based SITE Intelligence Group said, publishing a translation of a Shabaab statement.

The statement said that before they were killed, several of the men admitted to transmitting information that led to attacks against Shabaab militants.

Shabaab, an al-Qaeda affiliate, is fighting to overthrow the internationally backed Somali government in Mogadishu.

Somalia collapsed into civil war in 1991 that destroyed state institutions and has been wracked by the Shabaab insurgency since 2006.

The Shabaab were forced out of the capital by African Union troops in 2011 but still control parts of the countryside and carry out attacks against government, military and civilian targets seemingly at will in Mogadishu and regional towns.