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Four Shabaab Fighters Executed in Somalia | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Somali soldiers patrol the streets of Mogadishu on February 22, 2014. (AFP)

Somalia announced that it executed four suspects who fought with the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab group.

The four men were behind a 2016 attack that killed 80 people, a military officer said on Tuesday.

The four men were executed in Baidoa, which lies about 245 km (150 miles) northwest of Mogadishu, on Monday.

“Yesterday, four militants who had been behind blasts were executed. More men accused of being al-Shabaab members will be executed today or tomorrow,” Major Nur Aden, a military officer in Baidoa, told Reuters.

The four were found guilty of being responsible for twin blasts in Baidoa in February 2016, resulting in the deaths.

Al-Shabaab often carries out such attacks in the capital and elsewhere in its bid to topple Somalia’s government and to drive out African Union peacekeeping troops.

On Sunday, at least six soldiers were killed in Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland region in an attack claimed by al-Shabaab.

They were killed when a military vehicle struck a roadside bomb. Another eight were injured.

ISIS-linked extremists also have carried out such attacks in the past.

Al-Shabaab once controlled much of Somalia but in 2011 it was driven out of the capital Mogadishu and has since lost most other former strongholds.

But its fighters remain a formidable threat and constantly carry out bombings against both military and civilian targets in Mogadishu and elsewhere.

Officially called the Puntland State of Somalia, the region in northeastern Somalia declared autonomy 1998. However it does not seek independence.

Fighters affiliated with the ISIS are a relatively new and growing threat in Somalia, where al-Shabaab has been entrenched for years.