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Two men in north-eastern Somalia have been executed by firing squad for raping and killing a 12-year-old girl.

Aisha Ilyes Aden was abducted at a market in northern Puntland’s Galkayo town in February last year. Her body was found the next morning near her home. She had been gang-raped, her genitals mutilated, and strangled to death.

The rape and death of Aisha Ilyaas Aden caused an uproar across Somalia (Radio Banaadir)

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The brutal nature of the killing triggered public outrage and demonstrations calling for authorities to enforce a landmark 2016 law to secure justice in the east African nation, where rape victims are stigmatized and forced to marry assailants

Ten suspects were initially arrested but the regional High Court found three of them guilty in May.

Prosecutors said they relied on DNA evidence for the first time to convict them.

Ilyas Aden father of the raped girl says he checked the bodies of the men after the execution to check they were dead (SBC)

Two of those found guilty – Abdifatah Abdirahman Warsame and Abdishakur Mohamed Dige – were shot at a public square in Bossasso town on Tuesday morning, the Garowe Online news website reported.

A third man, Abdisalam Abdirahman Warsame, the brother of Abdifatah, was spared despite also being sentenced to death.

“This is a clear indication that justice is served in Puntland,” Puntland’s Justice Minister Awil Sheikh Hamid told a news conference. “It is a worrying alert for those who try to carry out crimes against women and girls.”

Abdifatah Abdirahman Warsame (L) and Abdishakur Mohamed Dige (R) asked the father for forgiveness (SBC)

Aisha’s father, Ilyas Aden, has told Puntland State TV that he requested the court postpone Abdisalam’s execution for 10 days until his case is re-assessed.

“This firing squad execution will serve as a strong lesson and the Somali girls will be safe,” Mr Aden said.

Activists and campaign groups say rape and sexual abuse have become more common in Somalia in recent years


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