Somalia soldier executed in Mogadishu over pupil murder

A firing squad in Somalia (17 August 2013)
Image caption A firing squad enforces the death penalty in Somalia

A firing squad has executed a soldier in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, after a military court convicted him of murdering a school pupil last year.

A crowd, including children, saw the execution at the police academy in the city, according to photographs posted on state-run Radio Mogadishu's website.

The death penalty is legal in Somalia, a mostly lawless state in East Africa.

Government soldiers are often accused of acting with impunity, including killing and raping.

Radio Mogadishu reported that more soldiers found guilty in other cases by the military are expected to face a firing squad in the coming days.

'Blindfolded and tied'

Maslah Isse Jimaan was convicted of shooting dead a pupil, Omar Mohamed Ahmed, in the capital's main market, Bakara, during a security force operation last year.

A firing squad of more than 10 policemen and soldiers are seen in the photographs taking positions, before Jimaan, blindfolded and tied to a pole, was shot dead in front of the crowd.

Jimaan had violated the military code and had faced justice for this, the military court chairman, Libaan Ali Yarow, told the BBC Somali Service.

Mr Yarow said he was unaware that the execution had taken place in front of children.

Somalia has been without an effective central government since the fall of long-serving ruler Siad Barre in 1991.

The country is split along clan and religious lines, with militant Islamist group al-Shabab controlling much of the south.

African Union (AU) and government troops are battling to defeat al-Shabab, which is linked to al-Qaeda.

In August, a firing squad executed a man convicted of being an al-Shabab member and of murdering a journalist in 2012.

Al-Shabab also carries out executions in areas under its control for crimes such as murder.

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