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Al-Shabaab journalist executed by firing squad

Somalia military on Monday morning executed an Al-Shabaab journalist by firing squad.

Hassan Hanafi, who was tried and sentenced to death for aiding the terror group to kill five other journalists, was on Monday tied to the firing post and executed.

According to Enca, several journalists who witnessed the execution said Hanafi put a fight before his execution forcing the police to tie him to a post.

Hanafi was arrested in Nairobi in August 2014 and charged with the killings of five journalists in Somalia.

When giving his verdict Judge Hassan Ali said the evidence showed that Hanafi “had key roles in the masterminding and execution of the murder of several journalists,” the AFP news agency reported.

After the sentence was announced Hanafi told Reuters news agency, “I am indifferent if you kill me. You will see if killings will stop even after my death.”

THREATS AND KILLINGS

Hanafi’s journalism career started in 2003 when he joined Quran FM in Mogadishu. In 2006, he became a writer for a leading Somali website.

A few years later, signs of his affiliation to Al-Shabaab emerged as he became the major source of all breaking news or reaction from the militant group.

The group would deny the loss of its members and claim victory through interviews with Hanafi.

Subsequently, Hanafi took to threatening any reporter who opposed Al-Shabaab or portrayed it in a bad light. Many journalists were forced to flee Somalia after receiving threats from him.

After his trial, on March 3, 2016 the court ruled that he should be executed by firing squad like several other Al-Shabaab operatives in recent years.

On Saturday, two other operatives of the terror group were executed in a similar manner after they were found guilty of killing a female journalist.