Somalia Executes 4 Linked to 2016 Baidoa Blasts

Authorities in southwestern Somalia have executed four al-Shabab militants convicted of carrying out explosions that killed some 80 people.

The men had been sentenced to death in February by a Somali military court in the city of Baidoa, 240 kilometers southwest of the capital, Mogadishu.

Reading the execution order Monday, the court’s deputy general attorney, Mumin Husein Abdullahi, said the men were behind simultaneous blasts that targeted two Baidoa restaurants in February 2016.

“Following convictions with clear and concrete evidence, the court orders the implementation of the death sentences,” he announced.”

As regional officials and dozens of cheering residents watched, the men were shot dead by a firing squad in Baidoa.

“The… men were brought in a public arena. Their hands were tied behind their backs with cord and on a post and then a half-dozen masked firing squad shot them dead simultaneously,” one of the residents told VOA on condition of anonymity.

Al-Shabab’s insurgency aims to drive out African Union peacekeepers, topple Somalia’s Western-backed government, and impose its strict version of Islam on the Horn of Africa state.

The group’s attacks do not only target military and politicians but also civilians at hotels, restaurants and other crowded public places.

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