A Somali military court on Monday sentenced a soldier to death for killing a government minister in a case of mistaken identity, reported Reuters. The soldier, Ahmed Abdulahi Ahmed, mistook the government minister to be an Islamic State group militant, an army officer said.
“Soldier Ahmed Abdulahi Ahmed, was condemned to death by a military court for mistakenly shooting the minister,” army officer Hassan Ali Noor said. Another soldier who was at the scene at the time was released without charge, the report added.
The incident took place in early May in the Somalian capital of Mogadishu when Public Works Minister Abbas Abdullahi Sheikh Siraji was shot dead in his car. At 31, Siraji, who grew up in a Kenyan refugee camp, was the country’s youngest minister.
In a separate incident, Abdiwahid Khalif Ahmed, the head of Amniyat, a unit of Al-Shabab responsible for carrying out assassinations and bombings in Mogadishu, was arrested by security agents on Monday, Reuters reported.
“This is the man who organises the killing of civilians and suicide attacks in the capital, and we succeeded in capturing him this morning,” said Abifutah Omar Halane, the spokesperson for Mogadishu’s mayor. “He was also behind assassinations in the capital that targeted government members.”
At least 19 people were killed in a car bomb and gun attack by Al-Shabab militants in a busy hotel and adjacent restaurant in Mogadishu on June 15.
Frequent attacks have been carried out in Mogadishu by Al-Shabab militants. The group has been trying to oust Somalia’s western-backed government and drive out African Union peacekeeping troops.