By Mohammed Dhaysane
BELEDHAWO, Somali-Kenyan border
A military court in Somalia's semi-autonomous northern region of Puntland executed Saturday five al-Shabaab convicted of al-Shabaab militancy and murdering two Puntland senior officials.
Director for the Puntland administration's high court, Colonel Abdifatah, told Anadolu Agency over the phone that all five defendants planned together and killed Puntland presidential palace director Adan Gaas, and a deputy police commander on December 2016.
"We have discussed their issue at least for the last two months and today the court convicted to execute them," Col. Abdifatah said after the execution.
"They have confessed that they killed officials," he added.
Adan Gaas and the deputy police commander were killed in a separate attacks that took place in Garawe and coastal town of Bosaso in Barri region in December last year -- for which al-Shabaab claimed responsibility.
The court also sentenced two other al-Shabaab members to life imprisonment on Saturday.
Meanwhile, breakaway northwestern Somali region of Somaliland Saturday sentenced a journalist, Abdimalik Muse Oldon to two years in prison.
Oldon was accused of engaging with anti-national interest and 'false' news.
His lawyer Mohamed Abukar told local media that he will appeal the sentence.
The online journalist has been in prison in Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, since Feb. 15 and he was arrested after landing at Hargeisa airport from Mogadishu where he had participated in a support rally for Somali President Mohamed Abdullaahi Mohamed Farmajo.
Somaliland is a former British protectorate that declared it's own independence from the rest of Somalia in 1991.