Somalia executes 2 Shebaab fighters over journalist death

2016-04-09 19:45
An armed member of the militant group al-Shabab attends a rally on the outskirts of Mogadishu, Somalia. (File, AP)

An armed member of the militant group al-Shabab attends a rally on the outskirts of Mogadishu, Somalia. (File, AP)

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Mogadishu - Two members of Somalia's al-Qaeda-linked Shebaab jihadist group were executed by firing squad on Saturday for the murder of a journalist killed by a car bomb in 2015, a judge said.

Abdirisak Mohamed Barow and Hassan Nur Ali, who admitted being Shebaab members during their trial, were shot on Saturday morning in Mogadishu, Abdulahi Hussein Mohamed, deputy judge of the supreme military court told reporters.

"Both of them were found guilty of murdering journalist Hindiyo Haji Mohamed whose car was blown with explosive device," Hussein said.

National television journalist Mohamed was killed in December when his car blew up as he returned home from a university class in Mogadishu.

The military court recently rejected an appeal by the men - and indeed increased their sentence from life imprisonment to execution.

Somalia is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists to operate, with some attacks believed to be linked to score-settling among the multiple factions in power, as well as by the Shebaab.

The Reporters Without Borders press freedom campaign group ranks Somalia 172nd out of 180 countries for press freedom. Mohamed was the 38th journalist killed doing his job in the country since 2010, the group said.

Shebaab rebels have carried out repeated attacks in Somalia and neighbouring Kenya as part of their fight to overthrow the country's internationally-backed government, as well as the African Union troops supporting it, which include Kenyan soldiers.

Read more on:    al-shabaab  |  somalia  |  east africa  |  security

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