Death in the desert: Killer of Somali radio reporter is tied to a pole and executed by firing squad

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Crouching down in the desert sand a firing squad shoots dead the killer of a Somali journalist.

Aden Sheikh Adbi was tied to a pole and executed early today in the capital Mogadishu after his conviction for the murder late last year of radio reporter Hassan Yusuf Absuge.

It was the first such execution in a country where the killers of media workers often evade justice.

Abdi, who had been accused of belonging to the Islamic extremist rebels al-Shabab, was found guilty of murder last month by a Mogadishu court.

Authorities said he killed Hassan in reprisal for his reporting of a suicide attack, according to local news reports.

Tom Rhodes, the East Africa consultant for the Committee to Protect Journalists, said the execution would help end impunity in Somalia, one of the most dangerous places for media workers.

At least 18 Somali journalists were killed last year.

Unidentified armed men shot Hassan, a reporter and producer for the private Radio Maanta, three times in the head near a high school in Yaqshid District in Mogadishu.

The killers fled before the police arrived at the scene.

Hassan had worked as a journalist since 1989 and contributed to Radio Mogadishu and the broadcaster GBC, according to local news reports.

He had covered a suicide bomb attack the day before at a popular café frequented by journalists and civil servants.

At least 14 people died in the blast, including three journalists, news reports said.

Local journalists said they were skeptical of the court’s finding because of perceived violations in the way the trial was handled and the presence of some prejudicial evidence.

In April 2013, the journalist union began conducting its own investigation into the case.

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