MOGADISHU : Shabaab militants stoned a Somali woman to death on Wednesday after a court sentenced her to the punishment for having married 11 men, the Al-Qaeda-linked group and witnesses said.

According to witnesses the woman was publicly executed in the Sablaale district of the lower Shabelle region, some 250 kilometres from Mogadishu. The area is under control of the militant group.

“The judge... said that the woman has confessed to the charges against her, that she married 11 husbands at the same time,” read a statement carried on a pro-Shabaab website. Witnesses, who declined to be named, said a dozen hooded Shabaab fighters were involved in the stoning.

According to the Shabaab statement, the 30-year-old mother of eight was arrested after two men argued over her, each claiming to be her legal husband. After her arrest the number of men claiming to have married her increased.

“One of the husbands died and another divorced her, but nine others were still married to her,” the statement added.

Witnesses said the woman married the men secretly and that none of them were aware of her prior marriages.