Somalian firing squad execute 21 al-Shabab militants for series of attacks

Twenty-one members of Islamist militant group al-Shabab were executed in Somalia’s semi-autonomous state of Puntland after they were convicted for a series of attacks.

They were sentenced by a military court in Galkayo and shot by a firing squad.

State radio said 18 of the men had carried out assassinations and bombings over more than a decade.

Similar death sentences have been handed down by courts in other parts of Somalia before.

But this is reported to be the largest number of executions of al-Shabab members ever in Puntland.

The authorities in Puntland had vowed to bring to justice any members of al-Shabab or people found assisting the group in its attacks.

Al-Shabab controls much of the country’s southern and central parts, and research published in October by the Hiraal Institute said the militants raised more cash than the Somali government.

As the executions were being carried out on Sunday, al-Shabab fighters stormed the town of Wisil in the Mudug region.

There are some reports that at least 20 soldiers were killed when an army base was attacked.