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Soldier killer of Somali Minister sentenced to death

A Somali military court on Monday sentenced a government soldier, Ahmed Abdullahi Abdi, 29, to death for the killing of Somalia’s minister, 31 year-old Abbas Abdullahi Sheikh Siraji for public works and reconstruction.

Court Chairman Hassan Ali Shuute said “After long investigation and presentations of evidences relating to the killing of the minister, the court found the accused of intentionally firing the ammunition that killed the minister, so he must taste the same punishment,”

The deceased minister, Abbas Abdullahi Sheikh Siraji, was the youngest politician in the Somali Cabinet. After the May 3 shooting, Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Moahmed tweeted he was “deeply saddened by the death … He was young, diligent and patriotic.”

Witnesses told VOA Somali at the time that Siraji was hit by gunshots fired from a vehicle carrying Auditor General Nur Jimale Farah. Abdi was a bodyguard for Farah, who was fired immediately after the shooting.

The defense maintained the shooting, which took place outside the presidential palace in Mogadishu, was an accident caused by heightened terror concerns.

Abdi said he opened fire when Siraji’s vehicle pulled up tightly behind the auditor general’s, a highly suspicious move in a country regularly rocked by al-Shabab militant violence.

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