Somalia:’s Puntland state executes 5 for murders of officials

Somalia’s northeastern semiautonomous state of Puntland has executed five men who were convicted of murdering two regional officials.

Saturday’s executions by firing squad are the latest of several in the region that is battling both extremist group al-Shabab and fighters linked to the Islamic State group.

A military court sentenced the five defendants for the murders in December of Puntland’s statehouse director and the deputy police commander. The five were accused of being al-Shabab fighters.

The men appealed the verdict but a higher court upheld their sentences. Two others were sentenced to life in prison.

The Islamic State-linked fighters broke away from al-Shabab and are trying to expand areas under their control in Puntland.