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Puntland executes 13 Al-Shabaab militants



Tuesday, April 30, 2013

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The semi-autonomous Somalia state of Puntland has by firing squad executed 13 Al-Shabaab militants convicted on terrorism and assassination charges.

Reports say that it is the largest single execution ever carried out in Puntland.

A Puntland soldier also died after he was hit by stray bullets during the execution at Bossaso, the main port and commercial town, some 1,500km northeast of Mogadishu.

The 13 militants, one a woman, were sentenced in February by a military court after they were found guilty of carrying out terror acts including assassinations and explosions in Puntland.

"Three of the executed militants were implicated in the killing of Dr Ahmed Haji Abdurahman, a well known scholar assassinated in Bossaso town in December 2012," Mr Abdurahman Hassan Firdhiye, the Prosecutor of Puntland’s Army Court, told the media.

The prosecutor added that the remaining 10 were accused of other murders and blasts in Puntland’s main towns including Garowe and Galkayo.

"The death of the Puntland soldier during the execution is being investigated," said Mr Firdhiye.

Puntland officials did not give further details about the judicial process involving the militants.

But the authority has repeatedly blamed loyalists of the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab of being behind the escalating violence in its jurisdiction.

Close call

Elsewhere, a journalist survived an axe attack Monday in Beledweyne town, some 335 km north of Mogadishu.

Abdullahi Salad works with Radio Ergo, a media house that usually covers humanitarian issues.

The incident was confirmed by Mr Ali Dhuh Mahadallah, the Chief Security Officer of Beledweyne.

“The attacker used an axe and hit the journalist three times on the neck," said Mr Mahadallah.

"Abdullahi is stable and recovering in the town’s general hospital," said the security officer who confirmed the attacker had been arrested.

In Somalia, journalists and media personnel had been under constant attacks, often from extremist Islamist militants.

So far, four journalists have this year died in Mogadishu in violent circumstances.

Source: Africa Review



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