HomeTop StoriesMoroccan IS fighters sentenced to death in Somalia

Moroccan IS fighters sentenced to death in Somalia

A military court in Somalia has sentenced six Islamic State fighters from Morocco to death.

The men will be executed by firing squad if their appeal, which they have to file for a month, is not successful.

“They came to Somalia because of Isis[IS]to support and destroy blood,” the court’s deputy chairman, Colonel Ali Ibrahim Osman, told VOA Somali.[IS}anddestroyandshedblood”thecourt’sdeputychairmanColAliIbrahimOsmantoldVOASomali[IS}anddestroyandshedblood”thecourt’sdeputychairmanColAliIbrahimOsmantoldVOASomali

The men’s lawyer said they had been tricked into joining IS and wanted to be deported to Morocco.

It is the first time that authorities in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland have charged or convicted foreigners for joining IS.

The military court also jailed an Ethiopian and a Somali for 10 years each, while another Somali defendant was released due to insufficient evidence.

One of the prosecutors told BBC Somali that the militants were arrested in the Cal-Miskaat mountains, east of Bosaso, Puntland’s commercial center.

The mountains are a stronghold of Islamic State, which has a base there.

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The Somali branch of IS was formed in 2015 by a group of defectors from the al-Qaeda-affiliated group al-Shabab – the largest jihadist group in Somalia.

It is notorious for extorting locals and carries out mainly small-scale, sporadic attacks, according to the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Somalia generally awards the death penalty for crimes related to terrorism.

The practice has been condemned by several local and international human rights groups, including the Coalition of Somali Human Rights Defenders.

Last month, the coalition and other rights groups said in a report that Somalia had carried out at least 55 executions last year.

It said 23 of the executions carried out last year were carried out by military authorities in Puntland and the Somali capital Mogadishu.

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