Somali soldier sentenced to death for mistakenly killing minister

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A court martial on Monday sentenced a Somali soldier to death for killing a government minister after mistaking him for an Islamist militant.

Public works minister Abbas Siraji was shot dead on May 3, in his car in the capital Mogadishu.

Soldier Ahmed Abdulahi Ahmed, was condemned to death by a military court “for mistakenly shooting the minister,” army officer Hassan Noor told Reuters.

A second soldier at the scene at the time was released without charge on Monday.

Siraji, 31, grew up in a Kenyan refugee camp and was the country’s youngest minister.

Militants from the al Qaeda-affiliated group al Shabaab have carried out frequent attacks in Mogadishu as they fight to oust Somalia’s Western-backed government and drive out African Union peacekeeping troops.

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