Puntland Sentences 17 Al-Shabab Fighters to Death
A military court in the semi-autonomous Somali regional state of Puntland has on Monday sentenced 17 Al-Shabab Islamist militants to death. The court said the militant were convicted of involvement in the killings of nearly 300 people in Puntland over the past 13 years. The court also sentenced 18-year-old Abdirizak Ahmed Burale to life imprisonment. The men were previously sentenced to death by the Puntland Military Court but hired a lawyer to defend them. This is the second biggest number of Al-Shabaab members in history sentenced to death at one time after 17 militants. 43 l-Shabaab fighters were sentenced to death and shot by a firing squad in Puntland state in 2016. Meanwhile, Somali National Army (SNA) killed 16 Alshabaab fighters in an operation conducted in West of Kismayo. Somali military has intensified the fight agaisnt the militant group Al-Shabaab in the country ahead of the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections in the Horn of African Nation. Al-Shabab's fighters aim 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.